What is SaaS?
SaaS, or Software as a Service, describes any cloud service where consumers are able to access software applications over the internet. The applications are hosted in “the cloud” and can be used for a wide range of tasks in organization.
Enterprise users are able to use applications for a range of needs, including accounting and invoicing, tracking sales, planning, performance monitoring and communications (including webmail and instant messaging). SaaS is often referred to as software-on-demand and utilizing it is akin to renting software rather than buying it.
• No additional hardware costs; the processing power required to run the applications is supplied by the cloud provider. • No initial setup costs; applications are ready to use once the user subscribes. • Pay for what you use; if a piece of software is only needed for a limited period then it is only paid for over that period and subscriptions can usually be halted at any time. • Usage is scalable; if a user decides they need more storage or additional services, for example, then they can access these on demand without needing to install new software or hardware.
• Updates are automated; whenever there is an update it is available online to existing customers, often free of charge. No new software will be required as it often is with other types of applications and the updates will usually be deployed automatically by the cloud provider. • Cross device compatibility; SaaS applications can be accessed via any internet enabled device, which makes it ideal for those who use a number of different devices, such as internet enabled phones and tablets, and those who don’t always use the same computer. • Accessible from any location; rather than being restricted to installations on individual computers, an application can be accessed from anywhere with an internet enabled device. • Applications can be customised and whitelabelled; with some software, customisation is available meaning it can be altered to suit the needs and branding of a particular customer
Software as a Service (SAAS) as an Outsourcing Model
Software as a Service (SaaS) is an emerging business model that delivers software applications to users through Web-based technology. The Internet is the backbone technology that provides life to SaaS business model. Just like Application Service Provider (ASP) model, SaaS can deliver software to user’s computer and/or laptop for application processes. Although ASP and SaaS are similar in certain ways, their delivery models are different from each other. Subscripting SaaS service will allow organization to save their IT investment on infrastructure, networking, hardware, software, and personnel costs. Every company bears the burden of information technology (IT) investment. However, IT is a must competence for firms to gain competitive advantage in the marketplace. For this reason, firms must invest in a considerable amount of fund for IT operations. Maintaining up-to-dated information systems in firms is costly. In order to make a firm more competitive in the market, seeking an alternative to reduce IT operational cost becomes a logical path. Other related IT challenges could include reducing IT infrastructure complexity, a sound return on investment(ROI) from IT investment, faster response time and throughput, systems agility, system integration, and strict security. Under such circumstances, IT outsourcing becomes one of the alternatives that can be used to achieve such goals.
The business practice of SaaS can be classified as an outsourcing model. Under such outsourcing practice, SaaS users gain the following advantages: 1. Cost saving: SaaS users can save a big portion of its IT operational cost by renting just needed applications for their business needs. The traditional IT expenses such as purchasing and maintaining hardware, software, infrastructure, and IT professionals could be minimized. 2. Better resources utilization: SaaS users can save IT expenses and then use the fund for more strategic processes. 3. More application access scalability: SaaS vendors frequently offer a multi-tenant architecture, which allows client side’s application access to be scaled up or down immediately. 4. Global outsourcing possibility: The advancement of Web technology allows SaaS vendors to be located overseas and also offer the high quality services. The offshore outsourcing model allows SaaS users to save more IT expenses. The core technology of SaaS is centered on its multi-tenant architecture. In order to provide efficient and effective services to SaaS clients, the SaaS providers must design their application architecture as “scalable, multi-tenant-efficient, and configurable
Agile Project Management
Agile Project Management is one of the revolutionary methods introduced for the practice of project management. ’Agile’ is an umbrella term used for identifying various models used for agile development, such as Scrum. Since agile development model is different from conventional models, agile project management is a specialized area in project management. It is required for one to have a good understanding of the agile development process in order to understand agile project management.
The agile model emphasizes on the fact that entire team should be a tightly integrated unit. This includes the developers, quality assurance, project management, and the customer. Frequent communication is one of the key factors that makes this integration possible. Therefore, daily meetings are held in order to determine the day’s work and dependencies. Deliveries are short-term. Usually a delivery cycle ranges from one week to four weeks. These are commonly known as sprints. Agile project teams follow open communication techniques and tools, which enable the team members (including the customer) to express their views and feedback openly and quickly. These comments are then taken into consideration when shaping the requirements and implementation of the software.
Well-known agile software development methods and/or process frameworks include: • Adaptive software development (ASD) • Agile modeling • Agile Unified Process (AUP) • Crystal Clear Methods (Crystal Clear) • Disciplined agile delivery • Dynamic systems development method (DSDM) • Extreme programming (XP) • Feature-driven development (FDD) • Lean software development • Kanban (development) • Scrum