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InformationWeek Daily - Monday, Feb. 23, 2009
Is SaaS Cheaper? Depends On How Long You Have It
Gartner published a report this week on the "five most-common SaaS assumptions." I agree with all of them, but must throw in my own two cents on the first assumption: SaaS is less expensive than on-premises software.
Gartner says that assumption is true during the first two years, but not for a five-year total cost of ownership. Well, I say, sort of.
I've been trying to get at the bottom of SaaS vs. on-premises software costs in recent weeks. So I recently picked up the phone and sought the opinion of a CIO I know who uses both: Manjit Singh of Chiquita Brands. For example, he has Oracle/JD Edwards on premise, and uses Workday's human-capital management SaaS.
Singh acknowledges that the answer of whether SaaS is cheaper depends on the timeframe. Anything beyond five years, he said, and licensed software appears to be a better investment.
Still, Singh said, "I would argue in most cases we would update our software every three to five years." In some instances it's a "forced migration," meaning the on-premises software vendor makes it difficult to stay on an older version of the software if it wants to move its customer base to something new. In other cases Chiquita might want to make a change to a better vendor or product.
Singh says he's specifically studied a three-year period of costs associated with SaaS vs. on-premises software, and in every instance, "we're either better off with SaaS or it's a break even." That's just on the pure software cost side, he said; it doesn't include what he would pay to hire consultants to integrate or customize on-premises software.
There's no question about it: When CIOs are considering SaaS vs. on-premises, how long they plan to have the software should be one of the most important factors in the decision.
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Virtualization At The Desktop?
Examine how more than 250 companies plan to adopt server virtualization technology in this recent InformationWeek Research report, Server Virtualization.
The BI Explosion
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A Premature Funeral For Analog TV
Premature death observances must be in the air. First, Anne Thomas Manes proclaimed the Jan. 1, 2009, death of Service-Oriented Architecture, "SOA Is Dead; Long Live Services," and followed up with an open invitation to a wake. Earlier this week, I attended a funeral service that featured eulogies from author Bruce Sterling, technology pundit Paul Saffo, and others at the Berkeley Art Museum to mourn the (premature) loss of the analog television Signal.
Kansas E-Waste Efforts Still Dust In The Wind
Kansas has had a few shining ecomoments, most recently on Jan. 24 when Sedgwick County collected more than 500 tons of e-waste. But any hopes environmentalists have of really cleaning up the state may be no more than dust in the wind.
Why Cloud At All?
In his recent blog, Bycast CTO David Silk provides some insight on how enterprises minimize the risk associated with adopting cloud storage. At the heart of the matter is why does cloud storage or, for that matter, cloud computing, exist at all?
Linux, nComputing, And Overheated Classrooms
Educational institutions are consistently cited as one of the best places for open source to take root and flourish. The best way to find out more about how that works is to ask the people right in the trenches, and so this week I spoke with, Scott Hershauer, director of technology for the Greensberg, IA, Community School District, about the use of Linux and open source in a high school setting. And aside from saving money, they also cooled off the classrooms a bit.
Should People Care What OS Powers Their Smartphone?
I am sure just about everyone reading this blog knows exactly what operating system their smartphone runs, and more than a few of you know what patches and updates have been applied, either automatically or manually. I suspect few average consumers knows what is driving their smartphone. This is in stark contrast to the desktop, where just about everyone knows what operating system their desktop runs.
Adobe's Mobile Flash Falls Flat; Let Fingerpointing Begin
Suddenly, somehow, maybe even unintentionally, Adobe's got a flat tire like the ones you gave your friends in grade school. For years it found niches we now take for granted, and insatiable apps to consume its technology with frenzy, and yet, inexplicably, it remained largely unchallenged. It became dominant without being threatening, kind of like a benign vampire novel except it's suddenly being banned in the church; or in this case, on far too many mobile devices.
The 'Un-Demise' Of Publishing
I've been having interesting conversations about content and content management of late with consultant Russ Edelman, an enterprise content management veteran and recent first-time author. I found his thoughts on the recent O'Reilly Tools of Change Publishing conference worth sharing.
Lessons From The Demise Of A Cloud Startup
Amid the growing interest in cloud computing, Coghead's collapse provides a reality check. SAP is providing a safety net for Coghead's intellectual property and its employees, but Coghead's customers are left to fend for themselves.
More Is Less, Or Less Is More?
Verizon Wireless is promoting its new "virtual communications center," which promises to manage all of your day-to-day communications activities, from Internet search and e-mail, to good, old-fashioned telephony. We've seen this concept before, haven't we?
Insecure Eye Sockets Layer: Defeating SSL
Moxie Marlinspike's presentation New Tricks for Defeating SSL in Practice should be an eye-opening presentation on the fragility of the trust we place secure Web sites. Marlinspike uses some fairly mundane technical tricks coupled with astute observations about human behavior to pull off a difficult task -- seamlessly subverting the indicators of HTTPS Web sites presented to a user and fooling the victim into trusting when they shouldn't.
Forrester Consulting: Unified Communications Delivers Global Benefits This Forrester Consulting study shows how Unified Communications (UC) makes it simpler to contact others over any device in any location, enhancing business agility, cutting costs, and boosting employee productivity. Forrester finds that UC is already delivering major savings for organizations around the world in retail banking, manufacturing and education. Download the full report for free.
Software as a Service Research Report No longer a niche software delivery model, software as a service (SaaS) can help small and midsize companies get access to enteprise-class software functionality without having to commit enterprise-level capital resources. Download the full report for free.
The Internet & The Developing World The evolution of the Internet has been full of surprises - surprises that have sometimes resulted in radical changes in the commercial landscape, such as the arrival of Amazon, eBay, Google, YouTube, and Skype. Could one of the next big surprises turn out to be linked to developing countries? Read the full report for free from InternetEvolution.com
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