Blog Entry

Nov 17
2015 

Delivering a Cloud-Like Experience for On-Premise Applications

It’s been said before, but the software landscape really is changing. According to IDC and other leading analysts, over the last couple of years, a sizeable proportion of app spend went on SaaS applications. It’s also worth noting that more than 30% was spent on replacing traditional on-premise applications with SaaS offerings, year on year.

Even though SaaS adoption is on the rise, there are still a significant number of on-premise applications on the market today. This is mainly due to the fact that the majority of ISVs are not entirely sold on the idea of a SaaS delivery model. If an organization is in a transitional phase and is considering moving its on-premise applications to a SaaS model, it can typically take four to six years to fully execute on that strategy – that’s a long time to wait for a return on your investment. Thanks to evolving cloud capabilities, vendors get to experience some of the key benefits right away, building their confidence in the SaaS model.

What are the benefits of SaaS, you ask? Greater control of your applications, increased revenue streams, faster time to market, and the ability to predict customer behavior, to name but a few. If you are unsure as to whether “SaaSifying” your on-premise applications will be cost effective, give connected licensing a try. Such a solution would enable you to leverage the cloud’s full potential to define, provision, control, and track your software offering, satisfying your bottom line in the process.

Let’s look at some of the key advantages that a SaaS vendor has over a traditional vendor:

  1. Most SaaS vendors today have either a subscription-based or consumption-based revenue model (i.e., pay-as-you-go). Choosing a revenue model that yields recurring revenue, year on year, makes it much easier to predict cash flow, which is something that Wall Street loves!
  2. Typically, because SaaS applications are run out of public or private clouds, vendors have a better idea of how end users are using the applications. The usage data generated helps them innovate, develop, upgrade, and update their products that much faster, and keep pace with changing business dynamics.
  3. With SaaS applications, there’s no infrastructure to manage, so you can enjoy significant cost savings. For example, to run an on-premise application like Oracle, you would need servers, a database, network capability, people to manage the environment, and so on. However, if you were to manage Salesforce through a web portal, you could log in from any computer, any phone, anywhere. This means the IT team and CIO needn’t worry about hosting and managing the application, because Salesforce does it all for them.
  4. Due to the nature of cloud technology, SaaS vendors are able to go to market much faster than their on-premise counterparts, often with near-immediacy.

Of course, there are benefits to on-premise applications, too. That the application runs within an environment under your organization’s control is a definite plus. From a security standpoint, compliance issues with sensitive data being transmitted over the internet – such as in the case of clinical lab trials – necessitate a secure protocol. Furthermore, on-premise applications give vendors unrestricted access to their data, and put them in the driver’s seat when it comes to operations like scheduling maintenance.

Connecting the Data Dots
Using a cloud-connected solution such as Sentinel Cloud, you can marry the benefits of a SaaS-like environment with some of the strengths of an on-premise application. It supports a broad range of business models, including feature-based pay-as-you-go, subscription, consumption, and even hybrid. Our solution enables you to track usage data and feed it into a billing engine to generate invoices, while user-friendly reports, sent out periodically, paint a clear picture of which features are being used and which are not. The level of insight one can leverage from this intelligence is essential to making business-critical decisions.

High Client Engagement
If someone in your organization wanted to purchase a CRM solution today, they would order an on-premise application and have to wait patiently for it to arrive and be set up. It would also take time for IT or Procurement to supply a hardware token, dongle, or complex alphanumeric license key. By contrast, if that person was to acquire the same CRM solution through Salesforce, all they would have to do is log in to the company account and they’d be up and running in no time, with no pesky license keys to manage. It’s precisely this quick and easy interaction with the application that makes customer engagement so much better with SaaS.

Now, I know what you’re thinking; What if I lose or misplace my license key? With Sentinel Cloud, such authentication methods are a thing of the past. In fact, if you wanted to upgrade your application with additional features, you wouldn’t even have to wait around for a new license key to be generated – the features would become available to you the instant your upgrade request is approved. In an on-demand culture like ours, having this ability is almost guaranteed to improve customer engagement.

A cloud-connected licensing solution like Sentinel Cloud brings you all of the above benefits, while still maintaining the best practices associated with an on-premise solution, such as connectivity, security, and control. In fact, we can assemble a solution that actually enhances security and control.

From business model usage to maintaining your competitive advantage, the benefits of cloud-connected licensing are undeniable – no matter which strategy you choose to implement. Sentinel Cloud is an ideal way to test the SaaS waters without getting wet. If, after you’ve experienced all the benefits outlined in this article, you decide not to go this route, connected licensing can still bring a wealth of SaaS benefits to your on-premise applications, giving you the best of both worlds.