New white paper, “An IT Manager’s Survival Guide in a World of SaaS” coming soon
Excerpt from a new white paper, “Hosted Exchange Buyer’s Guide” coming soon to the Intermedia Resource Center.
The mark of an IT manager’s success has changed, with emphasis now placed on Return on Investment (ROI), and IT’s ability to do more with less money and fewer people.
Just as sales managers oversee an increasingly mobile workforce, IT managers are overseeing infrastructure and mission-critical applications operated by third-parties. In the past, IT managers operated intricate networks within their company’s walls. Executives could physically look at each server and application. The uptick in adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS) has altered this landscape, with IT executives partnering with off-site providers who do the heavy-lifting to support and maintain these same mission-critical applications and networks.
The good news? By eliminating much of the guesswork typically associated with the on-site rollout of applications, of server purchases and storage expansion, SaaS enables you to focus your technical expertise on true business benefits and ROI.
Economic pressures and SaaS’ proven benefits have encouraged businesses to investigate and adopt SaaS. In fact, 37 percent would consider SaaS or business process outsourcing (BPO) because of its increased flexibility, according to a 2009 report by AMR Research. Other reasons: Faster implementation; lower initial costs; improved productivity; better alignment between IT and business lines; and increased ROI.
Late last year, 86 percent of SMB users were expected to adopt SaaS, according to a 2009 Microsoft survey. Driving factors include ease of set-up; the ability to connect to software via the Internet; virtual storage; access to files and email from anywhere; ease of maintenance and updates; and maximizing IT investment, AMR Research finds. Some are concerned about total cost of ownership (TCO); security; unavailability of applications; integration issues; lack of customization; application performance; complicated pricing; pre-existing contracts with vendors, a Forrester Research report shows. Addressing these concerns during early contract negotiations ensures your SaaS partnership delivers on its promise of savings and productivity gains.
Rev up ROI
SaaS gives IT managers the tools to create and abide by monthly budgets. You know how much the provider will charge each month, the anticipated results and can determine in which ways and time-period the solution will pay for itself and generate revenue or cut costs. Generally, SaaS shortens the ROI timeframe, increasing the value of your investment in less time.
SaaS also helps you cope with your no-doubt small IT staff. As developers further-enhance their products, the SaaS provider implements the latest applications, reducing the onus placed on IT for upgrades and compatibility issues. Clearly comparing the expenses associated with on-premise vs. SaaS implementations only underscores your expertise at determining the most cost-effective solutions for your company.
SaaS also increases your personal ROI. As the SaaS champion you are directly responsible for the hard dollar and hour savings you’ve shared with C-level executives, a process that puts you in direct contact with corporate leaders and boosts your visibility and acumen. By underscoring the business – not technology – benefits, you also emphasize your value as a leader who constantly seeks ways to use IT to improve your company’s operations, productivity and bottom line. For more tips on managing your career in a world of SaaS, see the “Ten Tips for Managing Your Career.”