A software-as-a-service expert answers questions about this evolving option for purchasing IT services
Software-as-a-service may have come into the enterprise through "the bathroom window," but it's definitely becoming part of the mainstream, says SaaS expert Mike West, vice president at Saugatuck Technology Inc., a boutique management consulting and subscription research company focused on disruptive technologies.
And it's an alternative to in-house operations and outsourcing that IT shops can and should use to deliver services and improve their infrastructure in a cost-effective way. SaaS can offer high-quality services at a lower cost than other alternatives, and it's particularly good for supporting mobile and geographically disbursed populations, whether they are sales staffers, telecommuters, customers or business partners worldwide. And in its latest iteration, says West, the technology is offered by leading SaaS vendors as complete platforms unifying normally stovepiped sets of services, supporting underlying data capture and analysis.