Exploring new technology options like SaaS or Cloud is much like Going Green . . . give me a choice and I will happily try and buy. But if I don't think corn-based ethanol is the end-all answer to a Green Policy, I'm not buying a car that only runs on the tasty Maize. I'll want options.
For years enterprise software companies have offered on-premise OR SaaS, but usually not both. And certainly not with mix-n-match style options that let you have ultimate control. If you are responsible for the software environment in your facility, you may not be keen on radical change within your current structure. So, what's the answer?
Find an offering that allows on-premise or Cloud/SaaS - or any mixture of the two. Start with non-mission-critical, non-real-time processes on the cloud and keep the rest on-premise. Things like back-office operations, HR and sales force automation all seem like worthy candidates for the cloud. But core industry processes — the applications that make or break your business, like your ERP system, your EAM (Asset Management) system, your SCM system and your financial management system should stay safely nestled on site while you try things out.
Enter Infor (shameless plug) - offering a flexible solution to manufacturers and all enterprise companies alike. Infor's approach allows companies to "test the water" to see how cloud solutions can benefit their unique infrastructure and processes.
I have linked below a Technical Paper that will guide you through terms like Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS), helping it all make sense. This paper is designed to illustrate how companies are confidently migrating core industry processes to the cloud successfully - in stages - and using the cloud when needed as a competitive weapon, not just a stand-alone choice.