Your financial consolidation software: SaaS, PaaS, Cloud or On-premise? How to make the right choice?
By Dorien Roes, Sales Manager Sigma Conso
You’re selecting your future financial consolidation software. You have a clear idea of the functionality you expect, of the number of subsidiaries in your group, of the information you want to obtain…
On the other hand, you’re still hesitating about the “delivery” method: PaaS, SaaS, traditional licence acquisition… In addition, your potential suppliers will also talk to you about “full web”, the cloud, and more.
What do these concepts include, and how can you make the best choice?
Here are a few explanations that will help you.
PaaS financial consolidation software
With PaaS (Platform as a Service) you don’t have to acquire any infrastructure (servers, etc.) to host your consolidation application. Your application supplier will offer you hosting services on a subscription basis, freeing you from any maintenance worries for your servers and related applications. The service includes servers, recurring backup procedures and computer maintenance. This is a kind of computer services outsourcing.
If you acquire the software, you’ll have to pay annual maintenance (to get support) and you will normally be responsible for updating software versions and your data.
Given that access to your consolidation application is via the web, whenever you’re logged onto the Internet, you can access the software and your data from anywhere in the world, from your tablet, smartphone, and obviously, your PC.
SaaS financial consolidation software
SaaS (Software as a Service) provides the lightest installation: you pay a subscription to use the software and the software company and the software company takes care of hosting. The software company is responsible for the hosting infrastructure and its management (servers and operating systems, databases, etc.), security, software updates, maintenance and technical backup management. You also get the benefit of much faster software deployment with the assurance that you, and the end-users in your group, will always be using the latest version of the application.
Again, given that access to your financial consolidation application is via the web, as soon as you’re logged onto the Internet, you can access the software and your data from anywhere in the world, from your tablet, smartphone, and obviously, your PC.
On-premise financial consolidation software
This is the traditional acquisition method: you purchase a licence for software which is installed on your servers. Can your users access the financial consolidation software via the web when you opt for on-premise installation? The answer is yes, if your software developer chose full web technology. This is the option selected by Sigma Conso.
How do you choose between SaaS, PaaS and a traditional licence?
The internal organisation of your group and its culture are key and should guide your choice. Some of our clients have an “on-premise” policy: all of their applications are installed and hosted on their own site.
Others are already fully committed to a digital transformation process or are taking their first steps and are starting to outsource their applications to the cloud.
- If your group has an IT team and servers and you want to have the software on site, the “on-premise” solution is the obvious one.
- If you don’t want to incur the expense of acquiring server capacity, the PaaS option is more interesting.
- If your company’s culture provides business departments with total independence, SaaS is the perfect solution: you’ll get the benefit of faster implementation and maintenance for your application. SaaS and PaaS also enable our consultants to intervene immediately when technical assistance is required. In licence mode, consultants must travel or request temporary access to servers for technical interventions. This requires more time and can be more expensive.
Lastly, what about the cloud and browser-based technology?
The concept of cloud computing covers all technologies enabling the use of computer services via the Internet. The cloud includes the concepts of SaaS and PaaS. As for browser-based technology, it’s used to develop applications that are natively compatible with cloud computing.
When you opt for a brwoser-based application, you immediately get all the benefits of cloud computing: rapid deployment, compatibility with all operating systems (Mac, Linux, etc.), no installation, instantaneous access via a browser and total mobility with access from any device with an Internet connection, including tablets, smartphones, laptops, etc.
Applications which are not natively browser-based can also be provided virtually via the web, but this requires the use of additional applications to enable virtualisation (Citrix, etc.).