There seems to be a lot of hype around the term “Software as a Service” these days. Introduced in 1999, SaaS is a model of software deployment where a provider licenses an application to customers for use as a service on demand. It is one of the fastest growing segments of the information technology (IT) industry because it provides a more cost-effective alternative for organizations to achieve their business objectives than traditional applications. With cloud computing and SaaS appearing on the scene, business intelligence (BI) solutions no longer have to be unmanageable, risky and expensive, but now can happen in a matter of weeks at far lower costs.
Many companies are wary, as they should be, of their most valuable corporate asset being moved outside of their enterprise data servers and firewalls and into a cloud where they have reduced control. However, any certified SaaS provider will be utilizing a robust data center and have an extensive means of application and data security coupled with an impassable network set-up.
Since BI SaaS applications are hosted by a service provider and do not require any hardware or software installation on the user end, SaaS users generally do not have to worry about the installation and customization of BI software and be sidetracked with keeping software licenses up-to-date and synchronized throughout the enterprise. A more important reason for taking advantage of SaaS is that it can significantly reduce the need for buying and maintaining expensive hardware, especially with respect to data and application servers. Furthermore, there is a reduced cost of deployment, and the overhead associated with data security can be offloaded to the service provider.
With all of these benefits, why would you not want your dashboard in the clouds?
Amanda Fry, iDashboards