Software as a Service
The iLab system is offered under the “Software-as-a-Service” (SaaS) model. Unlike traditional software, customers do not need to set up, maintain, or support the system locally. Instead, iLab creates accounts for customers on a server that is hosted and maintained by iLab.
The following list encompasses the key elements of an iLab subscription:
- Software license;
- Initial data and work flow set up;
- Customer support;
- Application hosting and maintenance;
- Data backup;
- Continual system enhancements;
- Ad hoc consultative support to cores including modifying work flow, assisting in adding or editing services or projects, and sharing best practices from cores at other research institutions.
Research by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company has shown that the Software as a Service (SaaS) model delivers significant savings in total cost of ownership versus “home-grown” or traditional packaged software. Although the subscription price of SaaS can be higher than the license fee for traditional packaged software, this subscription fee represents 91% of the total cost of ownership, versus just 21% represented by a software license. (“Delivering software as a service,” McKinsey Quarterly, June 2007, Dubey and Wagle). McKinsey shows that, when considering total cost of ownership, the SaaS model is provided at a lower cost than the traditional software models both up front and ongoing. The following is a list from this report of how the SaaS model saves time and money:
- Reduces deployment time;
- Does not require infrastructure and application testing;
- Lowers training requirements through simpler user interfaces and self-service training capabilities;
- Does not require ongoing business process change management (i.e., vendors monitor customer usage to enhance functionality; customers provide feedback to influence feature functionality);
- Provides great system availability;
- Provides greater scalability;
- Eliminates paying for excess hardware or software before they are required.
Cumulative Total Cost Comparison for SaaS and On-Premise Mid-market CPM Solutions with 100 Users. Source: “The TCO Advantages of SaaS-Based Budgeting, Forecasting & Reporting,” Hurwitz & Associates, 2010, Aggarwall and McCabe.