Just two years ago, total SaaS spending was nearly $114 billion, but is expected to exceed $715 billion by 2028. That’s an impressive annual growth rate of more than 27%, and a long way from where SaaS was just over twenty years ago. Some credit the launch of Salesforce in 1999 as the genesis of SaaS, and since that time innovation in the market has grown well beyond those humble beginnings as a sales and customer resource management platform. Today just about any type of software is available as a SaaS product, including marketing, information security, human resources, business management, and more.
Changes in the way organizations consume technology are reflected in the growth of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) market. Just two years ago, total SaaS spending was nearly $114 billion, but is expected to exceed $715 billion by 2028. That’s an impressive annual growth rate of more than 27%, and a long way from where SaaS was just over twenty years ago. Some credit the launch of Salesforce in 1999 as the genesis of SaaS, and since that time innovation in the market has grown well beyond those humble beginnings as a sales and customer resource management platform. Today just about any type of software is available as a SaaS product, including marketing, information security, human resources, business management, and more.
If you are contemplating an investment in AIOps, you may be wondering what the difference is between SaaS vs. on-premises, and whether one option or the other is right for your organization. And while SaaS is a proven, mature model for tech delivery and consumption, there are still some questions surrounding SaaS vs. on-premises that are worth addressing.
What Exactly is SaaS, anyway?
Software as a Service (SaaS) is an on-demand subscription model for licensing services or software that is hosted remotely, and accessible to the customer via the cloud. In fact, most software developers make SaaS versions of their products available for organizations considering SaaS vs. on-premises. Many organizations end up choosing to take advantage of certain benefits associated with cloud-based offerings, including things like:
- Simplified Adoption and Integration: Because the software is hosted by the vendor, there are minimal infrastructure requirements. In fact, accessing the service can often be done with just a laptop computer, or even mobile phone with a common browser. And many SaaS applications have options for customization with existing back-end systems, or even other SaaS products, that can be easily accomplished with application programming interfaces (APIs).
- Cost Efficiency and Lower Total Cost of Ownership: SaaS applications allow subscribers to purchase only what they need, with the option to add or subtract licenses as those needs change. That flexibility often means that, over time, SaaS is more cost efficient, and easier to budget than traditional software products.
- Simple Management: Because software is hosted by the vendor, upgrades, patches, and other enhancements can be made quickly by the vendor, and then pushed immediately and automatically to the customer. No action is required by the subscriber.
- Remote Access: These days, employees, contractors, and partners have an expectation that remote work can be accommodated. With a SaaS application, any authorized user with an internet connection can access their SaaS account.
What is on-premises
On-premises systems, software, and applications are deployed on infrastructure and systems—usually a data center—located physically within the confines of an enterprise. The organization may either own or license the product and is the primary custodian of data associated with the product. On-premises systems may have strict technical requirements for use or involve custom integration. They may also put the burden of lifecycle management on the owner, scheduling upgrades, regular maintenance, or other actions needed for continued and reliable use.
Depending on the specific needs and circumstances of individual organizations, there are advantages and disadvantages associated with using SaaS vs. on-premises systems and software. A thorough understanding of your current and future needs, as well as the expectations of your employees and partners is required to make the best choice. Do your homework, and then follow best practices once a decision is made.
Best Practices for SaaS vs. On-Premises
While there are several advantages to using SaaS vs. on-premises systems, when evaluating SaaS applications there are a few considerations to ensure you are making the best choice for your organization. For example, it’s important to understand how the product will be used so you can compare actual needs with the available pricing options to make certain you aren’t paying for features you don’t need. It’s also vital to review the applicable service level agreement (SLA) so that you know what the vendor’s responsibilities and commitments are, and to negotiate terms that best fit your needs.
It is also important to recognize that, for many vendors, SaaS vs. on-premises is not an apples-to-apples comparison. It’s not uncommon for the SaaS version of a product to have different features or capabilities than the on-premises counterpart. These differences could come into play when comparing SaaS vs. on-premises for managing and using sensitive health or financial data, or intellectual property that is hosted in one location, but shared in another.
And be sure, to do your due diligence to determine the financial stability of any SaaS vendors you are considering. That includes understanding their business continuity plans and data backup contingencies. Because some or all of your data associated with the SaaS application is likely to be stored remotely, you need to know what happens to it if the company goes bankrupt, is acquired, suddenly shuts down, or is inaccessible due to cyberattack, natural disaster, or other unexpected event.
Delivering AIOps as SaaS vs. On-Premises
If your organization is considering adopting AIOps as a part of a digital transformation strategy, you may find yourself weighing the options between consuming AIOps as SaaS vs. on-premises. First, ScienceLogic does offer its industry leading AIOps platform, SL1, in both formats. And the functionality is the same in both formats. And so, once you’ve got a handle on the differences between SaaS and on-premises deployments, and once you have identified the specific needs of your organization, you’ll want to look at the specifics involved with adopting AIOps as SaaS vs. on-premises.
The ScienceLogic SL1 platform can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud. SL1 enables real-time discovery, monitoring, and management of all the elements comprising your IT estate, including looking across hybrid environments with visibility into your chosen cloud services providers. That level of visibility can mitigate a great deal of risk associated with system failure, whether that failure originates within your own infrastructure or in your cloud. But whether SaaS or on-premises, you expect a certain level of performance and technical flexibility when choosing an AIOps platform engineered for today’s modern IT systems, including:
- New flexible architectures like microservices and containers;
- Security and compliance services;
- New alternatives to traditional storage;
- Dynamic, elastic, and scale-out services; and,
- Modern automation functions.
SaaS or on-premises, SL1 makes it possible to see the entirety of your IT estate because it is engineered to be integral to both the native enterprise and the cloud environment, delivering the highest level of health, availability, and reliability. But no matter which option you choose, you have the confidence of knowing that SL1 will be secure.
SL1 Security, Whether SaaS or On-Premises
The security of SaaS vs. on-premises is a top concern for every enterprise, and with good reason. The hardening of any tech platform, offered in any format, is a difficult undertaking requiring rigorous testing not only for its construction, but extending across the entire digital supply chain. When SL1 is part of that evaluation, you can have confidence no matter the consumption model you choose. That’s because SL1 is designed to be secure, and to operate reliably in even the most secure IT environments in the world as affirmed by our Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN) security certification.
ScienceLogic’s Trust Center provides an additional level of detail and transparency to answer questions about security so that you can be fully informed and have the confidence that is deserved when making an important investment in your organization’s IT future. Whether SaaS or on-premises, security is imperative for us, because it is imperative for our customers.
SaaS vs. On-Premises: Which is Better?
Now that you know the difference between SaaS vs. on-premises; now that you know how to evaluate your choices when considering SaaS vs. on-premises; and now that you know that ScienceLogic’s SL1 AIOps platform is available as both a SaaS platform and as an on-premises technology, you’re probably asking, “Which is better?”
In the case of SL1, the answer is up to you. And we would be more than happy to help you conclude that best fits your specific needs. When it comes to SL1, whether SaaS or on-premises, there is no wrong answer.
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