Mary Johnston Turner is Research Vice President, Future of Digital Infrastructure, at IDC.

Cloud-delivered software, often referred to as SaaS (software-as-a-service) or simply as-a-service software allows customers to quickly test, buy and deploy modern business applications while simultaneously improving digital business agility.

In a world where the quality of digital products and online experiences can make or break employee engagement and customer satisfaction, every organization needs to fully consider when and where as-a-service software can make a difference.

Digital business growth requires on-demand security, speed and scale

IDC estimates that by 2026, 40% of Global 2000 revenues will be generated by digital products, services and experiences

This represents a fundamental change for many organizations, going beyond simply digitizing existing processes to creating new sources of revenue based on data, analytics, dynamic pricing and pay-per-use strategies – delivered over broadly interconnected data centers, public cloud services and edge platforms. It also requires new approaches to security and business operations, including:

  • Faster, more scalable and more secure data and workflow integrations to dynamically connect employees, customers and partners any time and anywhere. 
  • Robust support for mission critical business process and data integrations across widely distributed locations as well as mobile systems and services. 
  • Modern solutions that are optimized to attract and retain new digital business talent and skills including developers, data scientists and digital business analysts.

The digital experience offered to employees and the consistency of that experience across multiple locations and devices, is becoming mission critical to the overall ability of the business to meet its revenue and time-to-market goals. Maintaining a seamless, agile and resilient digital business environment requires:

  • State-of-the-art automation.
  • Comprehensive monitoring and performance analytics. 
  • Consistent security and compliance.
  • Up-to-date inventories of IT assets. 
  • Real-time understanding of asset dependencies. 
  • Actionable insights to troubleshoot problems and maintain SLAs.

Considering as-a-service cloud software 

IDC expects that by 2026, 65% of tech buyers will prioritize as-a-service consumption models for infrastructure purchases, including a wide range of service management, automation and security software, to help restrain IT spending growth and fill IT operations talent gaps.  

Organizations must find ways to hold the line on costs, to reduce operational friction and to curtail the level of repetitive manual tasks and toil demanded of internal IT staff, developers and end users – even as the complexity and scale of digital business programs and processes expands. 

Traditional monitoring and security software is often optimized for on-premises locations or specific use cases or devices and can be expensive and time consuming to update and extend.  

On-demand, as-a-service solutions offer a cost-effective means for extending visibility and control consistently across diverse locations, devices and applications. As a result, increasing numbers of organizations are turning to cloud-based as-a-service software to simplify operations and ensure ongoing, on-demand access to the most up-to-date capabilities. 

From a security and IT operations perspective, cloud-based solutions allow organizations to:

  • Share service requests across teams and locations. 
  • Implement consistent automation across the organizations. 
  • Deploy comprehensive monitoring and analytics insights. 
  • Provide employees any time anywhere access to accurate data and self-service processes.
  • Take advantage of built-in best practices, open standards and continuous software updates and support.

As-a-service solutions shift the infrastructure and lifecycle support burden for the software to the service provider which helps to reduce repetitive lower-value work while allowing IT staff to better focus on digital business priorities while providing consistent, cost-effective and secure business applications access across the organization.

Simplify, standardize and scale operations and security for digital business success

For organizations that are investing in digital business innovation and growth, the shift to cloud-based as-a-service solutions can simplify and standardize operations, enhance security and help deliver better business outcomes at scale. 

Cloud-based services can make it easier for organizations to introduce state-of-the art security, service management and automation across a wide range of locations, workloads and applications.

They allow organizations to start small and ramp up as needed, while freeing internal teams from having to deploy and support new generations of software and infrastructure configuration and administration. 

For organizations committed to digital business strategies and on-demand self-service solutions, the pivot to cloud-based applications merit serious consideration.