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Making Sure You Spend Wisely on Technology

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 27, 2009

Many organizations buy software based on analyst or peer recommendations. While this is a better business practice than simply buying blindly, the problem is that no one can tell you how a particular software product will actually fit into the way your organization works. In other words, a given software product may well work, but not work for you.

For this reason, companies should be looking at low- or no-cost ways to evaluate and use software products with limited contractual commitments. Open source and software-as-a-service (SaaS) both provide a way for companies to accomplish this.

Open-source software allows you to freely download the software and typically only pay for support or advanced features. With SaaS, customers use the software over the Internet, with free trials and minimal ongoing contractual commitments in case the software doesn’t work as expected.

In these ways, both open source and SaaS put you, the user, in charge, letting you pay less money with lower up-front risk.

Matt Asay
General Manager and Vice-President, Americas
Palo Alto, Calif.

Reader Comments


January 29, 2009 8:17 AM

SaaS is a RIP-OFF. Who wants to rent software to run critical business operations. I know several SaaS providers that can't provide even basic security or even 99% uptime.Buyer beware. It is not less after you pay the maintenance fees and the provider locks you out of your data or worse goes bankrupt.

Stuart Maxwell

February 25, 2009 4:54 PM

Really? A rip-off? It's not any more of a rip-off than proprietary software vendors who stop supporting their product, leaving the business stuck buying everyone an upgrade or moving to a completely different solution.

If you know of a SaaS provider who can't provide security or uptime, don't use them. They're not the norm, in my experience. Many SaaS providers offer excellent service, continual improvements to their product, and a value proposition at least as good or better than traditional software providers.

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