Software-as-a-Service in intralogistics

4 convincing Arguments in Favor of a Cloud Solution

Authors: Tobias Gagern, CTO and Co-Founder & Gregor Noczinski, Head of Software Engineering

Perhaps you have once found yourself facing such a question: buy software and run it on your company's own servers ("on-premises") or subscribe to it as Software as a Service (SaaS for short, synonymous with cloud)? You are not alone. Plenty IT managers are faced with the same question. Of course, such a decision depends on a variety of factors. But the fact is: the trend is clearly moving in the direction of SaaS. Because SaaS customers often enjoy the best of both worlds: A secure, reliable server environment as well as a continuously maintained and always up-to-date software application. Especially when it comes to security, the latter is very important.

Recently, my colleague Gregor and I discussed in detail in a webinar the potential benefits of a SaaS solution over an on-premises solution. Here, we summarize the most important points again. You’ll find a link below that will take you to answers to questions that came up during the live Q&A session.

The global availability of the internet has had a significant impact on the Software as a Service business model. A software solution and the required IT infrastructure are operated by an external IT service provider and made available to a company as a service. To use SaaS, only internet access and a web browser are required.

SYNAOS' intralogistics solution – the Intralogistics Management Platform – can be used on-premises as well as a SaaS model. Our specialists have many years of profound experience with both solution scenarios. Their experience is incorporated into each of our customer projects and reinforces my opinion that the advantages of SaaS outweigh the disadvantages enormously. Not least because, as a SaaS provider, we always build on the extensive service of established cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Here, a whole armada of tech specialists ensures cybersecurity, continuous server maintenance and availability for our customers.

First, get an overview of the features of on-premises versus the SaaS option:

Fundamentally, I see four convincing arguments in favor of a cloud solution:

1. NO HIDDEN COSTS

There are no hidden costs. Those who have to decide for or against SaaS should bear in mind: With the on-premises variant, it is not only the acquisition and operating costs of the software that come into play. There are many other costs and investments lurking in this usage model. In addition to the costs for the servers and the software license, the electricity costs caused by the servers running around the clock also have a significant impact. They also need to employ qualified personnel who operate, monitor and maintain the servers. Additionally, a fail-safe internet line and suitable, air-conditioned facilities for the servers are needed.

If you opt for the cloud model, all of the above investments are already included. There are no nasty surprises waiting in the event of something unexpected to happen, such as a system failure. You don’t need to worry about a worst case scenario. Because if a server does fail, we as a SaaS provider will solve the problem for our customers. This is probably also the strongest argument in favor of SaaS: We are the specialists of our own software and keep the necessary resources and know-how at the ready and act proactively to ensure a smooth operation. Our customers get more performance for their invested capital.

2. RELIABLE DEPLOYMENT

Cloud software release cycles are short and fixing potential bugs is fast. With a SaaS solution, our customers don't have to worry about hardware, system software, internal staff availability, backups and restores. As the provider, we take care of everything. If a problem does arise, our customers have a reliable contact person they can turn to. For us as both a SaaS provider and experts of our software, troubleshooting is much easier because we have all system layers under control and know our software inside and out.

New releases bring new, improved features, bug fixes and general optimizations to every application. Of course, we reliably take care of such releases. Our customers benefit from short release cycles and waves. In addition, we can immediately detect irregularities in our own environment because we have special capabilities to monitor our system in live operation. Potential problems are detected at an early stage and errors are avoided from the outset.

3. UNCONDITIONAL SECURITY

Cybersecurity and data integrity are often cited as arguments in favor of the on-premises model. After all, those who run software on their own servers have sovereignty over their data. However, this comes at a high price: cybersecurity and GDPR-compliant data protection require expertise and can only be guaranteed if you have qualified personnel on standby. Such highly specialized specialists, who must always be up to date in terms of content, are hard to find and expensive on today's labor market.

At the same time, cybersecurity for Software as a Service could not be better. We are able to meet the specific functional, security and privacy requirements of our customers. They can rest assured that their data will be managed carefully and securely, allowing them to take full advantage of our software. Support from our highly qualified data security staff is included in the service portfolio of the SaaS option. In addition, our customers benefit from another decisive advantage or an additional security factor: Our servers, on which we provide them with our product, are protected 24/7 and 365 days a year in the best possible way against cyberattacks on the part of AWS and Microsoft.

4. MAXIMUM SCALABILITY

Flexibility and dynamism are fundamental characteristics of SaaS. Cloud software grows with the changing needs of your business. While our SaaS solution scales equally well both in the cloud and on-premises, there is one important difference: In the cloud, new servers can be added on demand in seconds. This is called Hardware as a Service. With an on-premises solution, on the other hand, such system expansions usually have to be planned and controlled weeks or months in advance. Space must be created in the server room for the newly ordered servers. Specially trained employees have to take care of both the installation of the software and the updating of the computers in the company. This increases complexity and susceptibility to errors.

Meeting dynamic requirements is a key success factor for companies today. It is therefore all the more important to be able to carry out the necessary scaling quickly and easily – and ideally with little or no interruption or downtime of software operations. With SaaS, new features and functions are made available immediately, and users can access them directly.

The decision pro or contra SaaS is always highly individual and dependent on many influencing factors. But the trend in the modern digital economy, with its high demands for cost efficiency, speed, scalability and flexibility, is clearly moving in the direction of SaaS. If more capacity is suddenly needed, it can simply be added and is available immediately. No hardware needs to be upgraded. If less capacity is subsequently required, the subscription volume can simply be reduced.

The level of security and availability is significantly higher and less costly with the SaaS option than with the on-premises option. Since each individual layer – i.e. operating system, database, interfaces and so on – carries an additional risk of failure, the software application inevitably has lower availability when installed and running on-site than when running in a cloud environment.

Our customers rely on the reliable and always available support provided by our experts. As a SaaS provider, we are the specialists for our software. We guarantee better and more knowledgeable support than an internal or contracted general IT service provider.

During our webinar, we answered some of the most frequently asked questions.

Do you have further questions? Are you interested in an initial consultation about your project? Talk to one of our experts!

Authors
Tobias Gagern | CTO & Co-Founder SYNAOS Gregor Noczinski | Head of Software Engineering

Recommended for you

No items found.