Cloud Computing: Profit Through Lower Software Costs
Software as a service (SaaS) is another avenue toward realizing increased profitability. With SaaS, software is licensed from a cloud provider according to the features and number of users needed. The software is accessed usually through a browser based client, meaning that it can be run on virtually any authorized computer. This has powerful implications for companies with mobile and distributed workforces because they no longer need to depend on remote access to the corporate network. Authentication is handled online by the SaaS provider, providing safe, secure, and productive access to business resources via a high speed Internet connection.
SaaS not only increases profitability through productivity: it saves additional funds normally spent on infrastructure and support. First, desktop platforms no longer have to be equipped with the latest technology in order to run the latest applications. As long as they run a browser and meet minimal requirements, any computer will work. This reduces down time by making desktop and laptop resources easily replaceable, increasing the uptime of valuable employees. In house license management and software installation and updates also become a thing of the past with SaaS. Because the applications are all managed in the cloud, updates and licenses are managed seamlessly, keeping costs under control. As is the case with infrastructure services, SaaS is scalable to meet the needs of businesses as their demand increases or decreases. At the moment, Google’s Apps Marketplace and Salesforce.com are two of the biggest providers of SaaS.
When businesses have a need for software, they can log into their marketplace, search for solutions based on category, make purchases and have their software up and running in minutes. For applications that are already in use, features can be added and removed and users can be added on the fly. Also, entire software packages can be dropped and replaced on a moment's notice.