by Bryan House
The rise of SaaS, software delivered as a service, is having an enormously disruptive impact on the software industry. Forrester Research estimates that spending on SaaS technology will double by 2013, representing 16% of all software spend. Gartner Research estimates that SaaS software spend is growing at 18%, compounded annually, and will reach $23B by 2015.
At the same time, open source adoption in the enterprise is reaching a tipping point. According to Accenture, 77% of high performance organizations are piloting or committing to open source.
What is driving the rapid ascent of SaaS? Organizations large and small are looking to SaaS applications to reduce costs and simplify software application management. SaaS promises significant operation efficiencies, as IT organizations can offload the complex, expensive processes necessary to manage enterprise applications. Every application requires software and security updates, new capabilities to test and release, along with a web infrastructure to maintain for performance, security and reliability. SaaS provides organizations with a mechanism to reduce their spend on application management, costs that can consume the IT budget.
Many IT organizations spend as much as 70% of their budget on sustaining engineering, keeping their current application portfolio up and running. As a result, investments in new technologies that spur innovation are severely limited, creating a gulf between IT and business leaders focused on achieving company objectives. SaaS-delivered applications represents an opportunity for organizations to adjust their IT spend to better align with their core business strategies and increase technology investments in areas that are directly tied to the organization’s success.
One technology category that is at the forefront of innovation spending is open source technologies. In many application categories, including web content management, cloud, and big data, open source technologies are leading the way. The question, therefore, is can an organization take advantage of both of these trends – SaaS efficiencies and open source innovation – at the same time?
The answer is yes, with OpenSaaS.
OpenSaaS is SaaS with open source principles, and technology, at its core. Its SaaS applications built on open source technologies, enabling organizations to tap into the innovation that results from the collective efforts of thousands of developers actively contributing to an open source project. OpenSaaS provides a ready-to-use, fully functional environment to pilot new projects, test-drive new applications or launch large-scale initiatives. And because it’s delivered as a service, organizations can take advantage of the potential cost savings and operational efficiencies inherent with SaaS applications.
At the same time, there is no vendor or platform lock-in. Application requirements evolve, pilots become full-scale projects and what made sense to run in a multi-tenant SaaS environment at one time may now require a more bespoke solution. This is where the true power of OpenSaaS kicks in. When you want to leave an OpenSaaS environment, you export a copy of your application – code, database, and design – and move it to wherever you want.
OpenSaaS is about freedom, as in speech — or, as they say in French, “libre.” It means the option to leave has to be more valuable than actually leaving: Services have to deliver tangible value and exceed customer expectations. If it doesn’t, customers will (rightly) fly the coop.
For high-performance organizations focused on innovation, OpenSaaS is the best of both worlds. Take advantage of market defining open source technologies on an enterprise scale, while capturing the benefits of SaaS application delivery – simplified application management, reduced IT complexity and lower total cost of ownership. OpenSaaS means that buyers can obtain business value from the software delivered as a cloud service, while retaining the control they would get from running software themselves – but without investing in the hardware, resources and overhead that comes with managing the application directly. OpenSaaS eliminates the tradeoff between application control and SaaS, giving IT organizations unprecedented freedom to chose the application deployment model that best meets their needs, for both today and tomorrow.