So what actually is SaaS (software as a service)?
Christophe Migliorni – Essentially it’s a standardised, Internet-based software, which offers complete security and the ability to pay depending on your level of usage by subscribing to the service.
What are the advantages of the SaaS model?
C.M. – There are many companies out there which consider SaaS to be a real anti-crisis solution, and it has to be said that it offers a great deal of advantages compared to its licence-based counterparts. The benefits of the SaaS model include:
- Rapid deployment
- Better control over technical expenses
- Regular and automatic updates
- A high level of flexibility
We’ve spoken at great length about the economic advantages of SaaS. What’s your view on the subject?
C.M. – Well they’re undeniable! The SaaS model eliminates the need to invest in computer hardware and licences, which means capital expenditure (capex) becomes operational expenditure (opex). This brings about significant reductions in the cost of owning SaaS compared to traditional software and allows companies to manage their budgets with ease.
What’s the connection between SaaS and Big Data?
C.M. – SaaS enables data analysis and exchange of good practice, which helps towards consistent results comparisons. But we’re talking about the concept of mass data with Big Data. This hasn’t been fully exploited up until now, but Big Data is currently in the sights of a lot of companies wanting to benefit from this huge volume of data. They’re keen to establish knowledge bases to use the information to economic advantage and offer their customers a more personalized service and better experience.
How far down the road have companies gone with getting Big Data on board?
C.M. – So far only a small fraction of the available data – whether it’s customer data, data from connected objects, maintenance processes, statistics on the use of products, vehicles, buildings – is being really used by companies. The cost of collecting, storing and processing data in the past was too high to make it worthwhile.
But now, with SaaS models and powerful machine learning algorithms, companies have the ability to use Big Data to full advantage, by converting it into actionable knowledge and profit. The business challenge now is to react quickly to the growth driver that Big Data represents.
What is DaaS (Data-as-a-Service)?
C.M. – Given the cost of data use and the growing pressure for fast processing, many companies are now using external suppliers to meet the challenge of scattered data integration and analytics. The direct supply of on-demand business ‘insight’ is what we mean by ‘Data-as-a-Service’.
What’s holding back companies from using Big Data to its full potential?
C.M. – The main sticking points are data hosting and confidentiality. Some IT departments view the outsourcing of company data as a loss of control over internal data management, provoking concerns about risks in terms of confidentiality. That’s why larger organizations often recruit internal Data Scientist teams. But data pooling is fast becoming more manageable with real-time monitoring tools and greater control over data security.