In a previous post, my colleague talked about some of the high-level, business benefits of Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud computing for higher education. I thought that now would be a good time to discuss some of the benefits SaaS provides for IT departments as well.
Like Sisyphus, damned to push an enormous boulder up a hill each day only to watch it roll back down, those of us in the Information Technology industry are compelled with a similar burden in the way we used to manage software. We relate to the exhaustion that Sisyphus must feel as we look down the hill–which in our case is a major version upgrade to our software. This should be a moment of triumph, which lasts about as long as it takes for the vendor to release a new update, and the boulder is back at the bottom of the hill.
The situation is getting worse, because not only do we have to maintain the software we care about–pushing that boulder up the hill for eternity–our backs are then burdened with the increasing weight of regulations, compliance checks, audits and eldritch security requirements.
Is your system current in all governmental regulations? The acronyms seem to just keep coming, and each one brings an albatross of research into new technology you didn’t plan for, nor do you have the staff to properly investigate. Do your information protection measures meet all of the latest security standards? Are you properly auditing and reviewing your operational procedures? Each of these added burdens requires you do more with less. Your staff cannot keep up.
Maintaining software in the modern world is an exhausting saga equal to any of the horrors of Greek mythology. But it doesn’t have to be.
Software as a Service enables and empowers you. It allows a small team of experts to focus on what they do well–maintain their own software for you, so you can have time to use that software to help your organization. With a SaaS solution your people are given back their invaluable time that is being wasted, so you can focus on helping your organization meet its own needs.
At one point in time owning a vehicle meant knowing everything about how the vehicle operated. I recall a story once about a father long ago who had his vehicle break down on a family road trip. He was able to open the engine and repair a gasket–performing all of this work on the side of the road, and soon after the fix was completed they continued their journey.
Just like that is a bygone era of vehicle ownership–as the world simply does not expect all car owners to be able to make their own roadside engine repairs–the same is true of the enterprise software industry. There is no reason to continue the dated expectation of full service vehicle repair yourself. SaaS software is the logical maturity of the industry, enabling you to use your tools, instead of having to spend all of your time maintaining them.