October 22, 2009, 12:16 PM — IT management isn’t what it used to be. Gone are the days when an IT manager’s success was measured by the size of the network he was responsible for. Today, the effectiveness of an IT manager is dependent on their ability to demonstrate clear and tangible return on investment (ROI) from the infrastructures they manage, while working within budgets that get smaller and smaller each year. Who said IT Management is easy?
[ See ITworld's IT Management Tutorial for more IT management strategies, tips, and expert advice. ]
What has caused this shift? many reasons, IT has become a commodity, part of the cost of doing business, and economics has brought ROI to the forefront. With fewer dollars to invest, companies want to get the most value out of what they spend their hard-earned dollars on.
The rise to prominence of software-as-a-service (SaaS) has helped make this evolution possible. By moving mission-critical business applications from the desktop to the Web, SaaS provides an option that is not only more affordable and budget-friendly, but one that takes the focus off of tedious day-to-day technology administration, and puts it where it really belongs – on the benefits that can be derived through an application’s adoption and use.
SaaS has also taken the guesswork out of application acquisition. IT managers no longer need to question whether or not a new system is worth the high cost of its software and hardware components, or the time and money needed to configure, host, and maintain it. By “renting” the use of an application from a third-party, who will also be overseeing its ongoing administration, companies can make their technology purchase decisions based solely on anticipated ROI. And, because SaaS is more economical, that potential ROI will be much greater, and much easier to achieve.
Additionally, IT managers can more readily ensure the reliability, performance, and scalability of their technology environments with SaaS. Because the grid-like cloud computing architecture that SaaS is built on is virtually infinite, any SaaS-based system can be instantly enhanced or expanded to satisfy any new or emerging business need. And since pricing structures for SaaS solutions are typically based on utilization, their costs are easier to predict, and are more directly tied to organizational performance (for example, a company will purchase and pay for additional licenses only when growth and prosperity call for the hiring of new users).