IT staff need to be aware of the risks that come with software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployments to avoid being swayed by industry hype when looking at new IT management tools, according to the latest report from Ovum.
The analyst firm's Exploiting IT Management as a Service report explained that SaaS offers numerous benefits, but that chief information officers need to judge them on their merits.
"SaaS saves time by allowing firms to implement software quickly, but it also reduces flexibility by forcing firms into taking whatever is offered from the provider, which can often include unnecessary applications as well," Ovum analyst Stephen Mann told V3.co.uk.
"Furthermore, there are often complex relationships between the firms supplying, managing and maintaining the software, causing complications for end users around the governance of the systems."
Mann also highlighted a risk of division within organisations if certain departments bypass IT and go directly to the SaaS provider to have custom applications built.
"This sort of thing can be the fault of IT departments too as they are not seen as business-oriented enough or work too slowly on new projects, so only find out about new applications after they have been commissioned and built," he said.
"This can cause problems if the applications turn out to overlap with other tools already in use within a firm, or if they don't work in conjunction with other systems in use."
However, Mann pointed out that reduced contract times, often as low as a single year, allow companies to more easily change the system if they realise that the use of SaaS tools is not right for their needs.
"A little while ago some contracts lasted three or four years, but this is coming down all the time and gives firms a chance to switch provider or revert to an on-premise system far more quickly and easily than in the past," he said.
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