SaaS isn’t the only way—software today is all about choice

michael-garrett2.jpgBy Michael Garrett

 

Reading the business and technology press, you might get the impression that the world of enterprise software is shifting on its axis to become entirely SaaS-based. But if you dig deeper you’ll find that the story is more complex. Enterprises are embracing SaaS, yes, but instead of merely looking to consume software on a subscription basis, what they’re really looking for is choice. We’re seeing this with our HP Software Professional Services customers, and also in the marketplace.

 

Choice that’s real—but not everyone can offer it

As a topic, choice comes up again and again in recent conversations with customers. Partly this is an effect of the investment HP has put into innovation. A year ago, I might have had conversations revolving around HP’s turnaround and internal alignment. No longer. Now we’re seeing a volume of new and innovative offerings aligned to the market. There’s a raft of cool things out there—from Propel to Pronq. So what’s changed that’s made customers see HP in this new light? More than anything it’s an understanding of the way that customers want to consume software. It’s not one size fits all.

 

As someone who meets with customers all the time to talk about their most critical technology needs, I’d say what characterizes the mood of the moment is choice. For instance, a lot of people talk about SaaS but then they hit the barriers. We see this frequently with financial services and government. Customers want the flexibility and OPEX vs CAPEX benefits of SaaS, but it’s not feasible in their environment. So they move to a managed service model.

 

Then we have some customers who want to buy the asset. For them it’s a competitive advantage if they own and manage it. In fact, we’re not seeing the demand for on-prem products significantly diminishing.

 

Choosing the consumption model that’s right for you

I find that when they’re making a choice in consumption model customers are still focused mainly around cost. And this is where customers have an opportunity to become savvy consumers. Because cost is certainly one position, but there are other dimensions to consider. For instance, in addition to cost, you should be asking, ‘What does this give me in terms of speed, flexibility and advantage?’

 

SaaS becomes very compelling when it’s something that can be done quickly. Take for example, something like Fortify On Demand, that you can tear up and tear down quickly. Say you need to put something through on a short timeframe—you have lots of new apps you’re bringing out, so you’re going to put them through this tool online and get answers quickly. Agile Manager is another example of a function of the application lifecycle that’s easy to consume in this way. It all depends on your business objectives.

 

The bottom line—customers are matching consumption models to their particular environments and figuring out what nuance there is beyond cost. Right now, choice is what they’re looking for—and will be for a while. Contact HP Software Professional Services to learn more.

 

Related links:

Blog post: A roadmap for DevOps: 4 steps to greater agility

Blog post: 5 elements to successful enterprise mobile apps

Blog post: 3 success factors you need for automation

Blog post: 6 months after your software project is finished, will this mistake come back to haunt you?

Blog post: IT leaders: You’ve delivered the project, but have you delivered the value?

Labels: SaaS
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