Subscribing to a SaaS application means housing business data outside the controlled local network, within the Internet "cloud." @ittakessaas
For any given application or function, you can determine your SaaS readiness by plotting your organization's needs and expectations on each continuum SaaS influences an enterprise's allocation of resources through a variety of licensing, operation, and management models. The smart enterprise will be able to trade direct control (over service-implementation details) for the additional flexibility, to optimize the strategy and execution of its core mission.
However, the extent to which an enterprise can exploit SaaS is directly related to its ability to transfer and mitigate risks, and getting a good handle on service-level agreement is a key part of the risk-management game. Therefore, expanding the boundary of an IT's service portfolio beyond its firewall signifies another level of business and technical sophistication from the service-centric IT.
Licensing: On-premise applications typically are licensed in perpetuity, with a single up-front cost for each user or site, or (in the case of custom-built applications) owned outright. SaaS applications often are licensed with a usage-based transaction model, in which the customer is only billed for the number of service transactions used. In between is the familiar time-based subscription model, in which the customer pays a flat fee per seat for a particular time period—such as a month or a quarter—and is allowed unlimited use of the service during that period.
Location: SaaS applications are installed at the SaaS hoster's location, while on-premise applications are, of course, installed within your own IT environment. In between is the appliance model, in which the vendor supplies a hardware/software component as a "black box" that is installed at your location, instead of the vendor's. An example of an appliance in this sense would be a device that includes a logistics application with a cached and periodically updated database. A shipping company might provide such a device to its large customers, so they can query the device for shipping information instead of hitting the shipping company's servers with thousands of individual queries a day.
Management: Traditionally, the IT department is responsible for providing IT service to users, which means being familiar with network, server, and application platforms; providing support and troubleshooting; and resolving IT security, reliability, performance, and availability problems. This is a big job, and some IT departments subcontract some of these management responsibilities to third-party service providers that specialize in IT management. At the other end of the spectrum, SaaS applications are completely managed by the vendor or SaaS hoster; in fact, the implementation of management tasks and responsibilities is opaque to the consumer. Service-level agreements (SLAs) govern the quality, availability, and support commitments that the provider makes to the subscriber.
As teams wanted to collaborate more, so too must the model be able to accommodate software in team fashion. IT Takes a Team
How SaaS Affects IT @ittakessaas
After you've made the decision to pursue SaaS, the next step is to prepare for the transition by assessing how the deployment will affect your existing IT assets, and by taking steps to ensure that the transition can be handled smoothly.
Performing due diligence is a routine part of any successful IT infrastructure deployment project, so the basics should already be familiar to you. Some factors, however, deserve special consideration. Some areas to address in your due-diligence checklist include:
Implementing a federation server that uses well-known standards for remote authentication, such as WS-Federation or Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), will help ease the process of implementing single sign-on with a wide range of SaaS providers.
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