Adding Functionality at the Expense of Upgrading

I just got off the phone with a customer that will be presenting at SugarCon 2009. We were talking about Sugar On-Demand, the pros and cons associated with SaaS/cloud computing, and the economy when this director of IT made a very interesting point: cutting costs by skipping product upgrades and turning to cloud computing.

Given the economic downturn, I’ve been reading a lot lately about companies turning to open source to cut IT budgets, but as our astute customer pointed out, why shouldn’t businesses look to SaaS and cloud computing to cut costs rather then upgrading existing software packages, or implement new ones?

With more and more functionality being inherently imbedded within Web 2.0 technologies, the ability to virtualize the end user desktop has never been greater.

Martin provided a perfect example of this the other day by showcasing how a customer could leverage the Cloud Connectors embedded in Sugar 5.2 to deploy application training content virtually, and at nearly zero cost.

Rather then making costly upgrades, companies could consider implementing key services and/or functionality via cloud computing platforms, custom developing functionality or integrations. In short, cherry picking the most needed functionality rather than overhauling the entire engine.

One thought on “Adding Functionality at the Expense of Upgrading

  1. Could not agree more. Most people think of boxed software as a one-time costs even though they expect to upgrade in the future. What most fail to realize is the time effort and energy required to install the upgrades. In a 2 man shop, not a big deal. In an enterprise situation, it could take weeks of man-hours that could be used else where. Factor in minor bug fixes (usually installed from a update checker) and the headaches of mis-matched versions and it gets complicated.

    That is why SaaS makes so much sense, everyone gets the upgrades the next time they log on.

    Mark

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