Software as a Service (SaaS) was developed as a way for users to connect to and utilize cloud-based apps over an internet connection. Often provided on a pay-as-you-go basis, the software is rented on behalf of a business or organization, and designated users are given credentials that allow them to access the software through a web browser. Although the deployment of these types of software generally requires a stable data center and modern infrastructure, many Infrastructure and Operations organizations continue to deny SaaS requests to their detriment.
In the past, Infrastructure and Operations leaders were wholly consumed when direct engineering input may have been required. While many organizations remain focused on supporting and deploying Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), SaaS is now a crucial component of overall IT spending and the most common form of software deployment. Now, more than ever, I&O leaders must bridge the gap in services offered to ensure a focus on SaaS is not lost to eliminate gaps in coverage or service support that may develop unexpected risks.
While the overall value that I&O organizations can provide to SaaS is minimal, opportunities to expand services to include software deployment are rarely pursued and may detract from the quality of solutions that are being offered. Adding value at any opportunity is crucial for Infrastructure and Operations organizations and the SaaS solutions they are providing can easily be integrated into the overall IT environment they are creating. Furthermore, team members also must be in the mindset that SaaS can become a valued aspect of their technical support when integrated well to further expand the quality of services provided and meet the needs of the clients that rely on them.
Unlike IaaS and PaaS service capabilities, SaaS abides by different governance characteristics that may further complicate the process. For instance, many of the costs associated with software deployment are based on licensing needs and the number of users required will often dictate the overall cost. This is drastically different from the granular approach that is achieved with IaaS. As one might imagine, this makes creating optimization techniques a priority to ensure waste is being avoided wherever possible to keep costs down and accurately deploy SaaS services as part of a new approach to I&O services.
As SaaS continues to grow in importance, many of the other infrastructure systems already in place will depend on improved data flows and critical integrations to provide services successfully. Consequently, reliability, connectivity, and availability will also become more important for I&O organizations than anticipated in the early adoption phases. Leaders in Infrastructure and Operations that fail to implement SaaS solutions now will likely risk the creation of patchwork solutions that may not provide efficiency and a lack of cohesion among executive leaders that feel like they need to control them. No SaaS plan is perfect, but with a little planning now, I&O organizations can have a stable foundation to grow from.