cloud computing and saas logo for repods

Cloud Computing and SaaS: Insights from a Trend Study

This is an overview of trends in cloud computing and the use of SaaS platforms. We also outline the advantages of cloud platforms and the specific type of user experience they offer, showing how the Repods platform fits into this picture.

According to a 2018 cloud computing study conducted to measure cloud computing and SaaS trends among tech decision-makers,

73% of the surveyed organizations have at least one application in the cloud.

Similar to other case studies concerning the digital realm, pressures to keep up with developments are very much felt. The trend is towards expansion, as 17% of the respondents plan to introduce cloud services within the upcoming year.

SaaS Adoption in Comparison

Companies are looking to intensify their investment efforts in the field towards more evolved cloud environments. A good 38% of the respondents report that their IT department intends to migrate 100% to the cloud. Another 42% confirm to be using multi-cloud.

diagram overview of cloud platform preference
Diagram 1. Overview of cloud platform preference
Source: IDG Cloud Computing Survey, status as of 21.11.2019, own image.

Some 89% of the 550 surveyed decision-makers in IT name Software as a Service (SaaS) as their preferred cloud solution, whereas 73% of the responding companies additionally use Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and 61% report to be using Platform as a Service (PaaS). The pervasiveness of cloud services is very much felt: the respondents’ current IT environment is 23% SaaS, 16% IaaS, and 9% PaaS. The current situation with the surveyed IT companies is that only about 52% of their IT environment continues to be non-cloud. Projected values over an 18-month-period indicate a clear trend toward growth—SaaS use is projected at 33%, IaaS at 22%, and PaaS at 14%.

diagram decision drivers in assessing cloud vendors
Diagram 2. Decision drivers in assessing cloud vendors
Source: IDG Cloud Computing Survey, status as of 21.11.2019, own image.

As far as the top priorities for the upcoming year are concerned, 21% of the respondents have identified areas such as business intelligence, data warehousing, and data analytics. When it comes to assessing cloud vendors, 82% of the respondents said that they look at product demonstrations and trials, another 78% read vendor content, whereas 74% depend on peer reviews and recommendations when making their decisions.

Drivers of Change

Speed is the main driving force behind investments in cloud services. Apart from the speed of service delivery, the need for responsiveness is among the top goals pushing cloud investment. Other goals include enhanced flexibility towards the changing conditions of the market, improved continuity, and better customer support. Potential cost reductions continue to motivate companies.

The main reason behind choosing SaaS solutions is saving IT resources. Companies invest in SaaS in the hope of less manual maintenance, better productivity, improved end-user experience, and more access. According to the report, IaaS solutions are primarily implemented for their scalability, flexibility, reliability, and increased agility. PaaS is preferred because of time-saving and cost reduction, agility, and the elimination of in-house maintenance.

Rather than questioning whether they should move to the cloud or not, organizations are now focusing on managing their multi-cloud portfolios while facing ever newer generations of cloud services.

In sum, companies are no longer having the discussion of whether cloud migration is a viable option. Their motivation to shift to cloud services extends beyond the mere pursuit of cost reduction. The new pursuits are these of better availability, speed, flexibility, and far greater agility within increasingly complex cloud environments.

Why Do We See Cloud Computing and SaaS as an Advantage?

As an alternative to traditional models of software installation, SaaS enables a variety of potentials and advantages. SaaS is a software licensing and delivery model where software is licensed on a subscription basis and is billed monthly or annually. As a subscription-based service, SaaS allows for more flexibility. Customers face relatively low upfront costs because they do not have to reckon with initial license fees. This holds especially true for Analytics services, which requires substantial upfront investments when developed on-premise. Added to this are the low to non-existent hardware and software maintenance costs as the IT infrastructure is managed by the IT provider.

Scalability

Scalability is another key advantage of SaaS services. Platforms such as Repods often come with a freemium option allowing customers ample time to get to know a service before making a commitment. There is also the possibility to switch between subscription types, scale up or down, or even opt for a usage-based plan. Such options are ideal for scenarios where you have a tight IT budget or your in-house IT know-how is limited.

Customer Comfort

Both setup and deployment are uncomplicated. SaaS is conceived as a user-friendly platform that is designed to provide maximum customer comfort. The app is already installed and configured in the cloud so there is no need to deploy locally. Updates are handled by the SaaS providers so users do not have to worry about this part of the process. Usability is an asset: the various steps to follow in navigating the platform are straightforward and intuitive.

For example, data science platforms such as Repods provide different levels of user flexibility. In-platform explanations and extensive technical documentation make it easier to work within the SaaS environment. At the same time, the platform is designed in such a way that it leaves enough room for developers to customize. Users with limited know-how can take advantage of the boilerplate options already provided within the platform whereas developers can make use of the platform’s enhanced customization capabilities.

Accessibility

And finally, one straightforward advantage is the accessibility of a SaaS platform. Software is centrally hosted in the cloud and can be accessed via a browser over an internet connection. You simply need a browser and an internet connection and can start working from any location worldwide.

For more information on recent cloud computing trends, you can access the IDG Cloud Computing Survey directly.

For an overview of the local innovation landscape, see our article How Digital are German SMEs?

To find out more about the Repods platform as a SaaS service, read our article What is the Repods Platform All About?


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