There is no shortage of benefits to moving to the cloud, but there are three main reasons people are increasingly adopting Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions: infrastructure, scalability, and ease of updating.
Companies are trying to get out of their captive data centers because the costs associated with maintaining, upgrading, and continuing to operate and run a data center is very capital intensive.
A company’s core competency is really whatever it is that they build, do, or generate revenue from. But companies that aren’t in the IT business per se don’t “need” IT from a capital expenditure perspective. IT enables their business operations, but their business doesn’t rely on IT as a revenue-generating product.
Business and finance executives are starting to ask, "Why do we spend all this money to maintain all of the infrastructure when there are companies like AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft with Azure to do it for us?” There's so much power and computing capability available from cloud service providers that we don't need to spend money on infrastructure and hardware.
Another advantage of SaaS is scalability. Think about scale in terms of computing. When you operate within a captive data center, no matter what you do from a virtualization perspective, there's a finite compute capacity. Depending on the types of applications that you run, you need dedicated processing, dedicated servers, and other physical hardware devices, and that can get pretty expensive.
With the cloud, you aren’t bottlenecked by the capacity of your data center. The distributed computing and parallel processing available in the cloud enables you to scale at a rate not easily achieved within a data center. You can scale up and down much faster because your scaling ability is now driven by the huge infrastructures of Azure, AWS, Google Cloud, or whichever service provider you select.
Ease of Updating
Another reason people are moving toward SaaS is the ease of updating your applications. Here are some examples of where this comes into play:
In the old days, we would heavily customize applications to make them work for our business processes and workflow. When you upgraded these heavily customized applications, you basically spent another two years reimplementing the upgraded application because of how much you customized it.
The beauty of modern computing is that the ease of customization allows you to take advantage of upgrades. So that's one example of where the cloud and software as a service in particular and modern computing with the multi-tiered architecture allows for companies to really take advantage of that.
With older applications, when you had a security vulnerability, users would have to come to you to download the patch, then implement it on their system. Today, SaaS delivers the latest and greatest version of the application every time you log in.
In the past, when there was a major software release, it was almost as though you got a completely new application. The new version had a different look, feel, and user interface, so you basically had to learn the application all over again.
With SaaS, you can see changes happen rapidly, but incrementally. The changes don’t drastically change how the application looks or operates. Take Gmail for example. Google makes changes to Gmail constantly, but hardly any of those changes are noticeable to the user.
SaaS has revolutionized computing in a million ways. But reducing spend on infrastructure, infinite scaling capabilities, and real-time updating with incremental improvements are the three reasons driving both startup and enterprise organizations to move to the cloud.