With such importance being placed on cloud computing, there is no better time than now to define the hybrid SaaS model. However, first, it is important to define what SaaS means in practice.
SaaS, or software as a service, is a delivery model that sees software being hosted in a cloud environment as opposed to on individual computers. This allows users to access software with their web browsers. Not only does SaaS drastically reduce the cost of IT support, but it also allows for quick customisation as it promotes collaboration and enables the development of more scalable software.
In a hybrid SaaS scenario, the cloud benefits of SaaS are combined with physical applications installed on-site. This allows for the provision of the convenience of the cloud with the security and user control that traditional software can provide.
With a hybrid SaaS solution, a user can access the functions of the software from the cloud. They log into an application from their web browser of choice and then user several aspects of the solution in the cloud. However, their data is stored offline before being encrypted and then transferred using the internet.
Data storage in a hybrid SaaS scenario can be completed via an on-site server managed by the business, or via the cloud which is managed by the application host. This provides the user with far more control over where their data is stored. As well, users can enjoy security without having to sacrifice the convenience of the cloud.
Hybrid SaaS can be the perfect solution for those businesses who want to explore the benefits of the cloud, but who don't yet wish to migrate their entire operations to the cloud. And this is more common than you think; many businesses prefer to work with their existing technology and systems while they use the cloud.
When considering the migration to a hybrid SaaS model, there are a few things to consider. First, it's important to think about whether or not a hybrid model can perform better than a traditional solution. This information can be found by looking at internal utilisation reports.
Another thing to consider is whether or not there are regulatory or industry standards that must be adhered to, as these can sometimes prohibit the use of cloud infrastructure.
Considering whether current on-site applications can be used in the cloud is another item. Some applications may not be certified when used in the cloud. They may also not be supported by vendors to run in the cloud.
Defining a budget for a hybrid solution will be another consideration. This is necessary in order to optimise the investment while adhering to the financial and technical needs of an organisation.
Hybrid SaaS solutions can mean that large data sets can be moved more quickly and efficiently to and from the cloud. However, the volume of data is only one element to consider when deciding whether or not to choose a hybrid solution.