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Are You Considering SaaS On Your Project Or Program?

February 11th, 2009 · 71 Comments

, an acronym for Software as a Service, continues to evolve in the market today. Any project or program manager involved with software application implementation needs to be very familiar with SaaS. But any project manager on any project where there are systems involved with managing any aspect of the project will also benefit by being familiar with SaaS. In this post, I simply want to highlight a few high points that I have learned recently about the state of the SaaS evolution.


Software as a Service (SaaS) is becoming much more pervasive. However, it is doing so especially in certain markets, certain applications, and certain functionality. Specifically, Saas is especially taking off in the following:

  1. the small to medium organization market where businesses can take advantage of the low upfront costs to get started, the low total cost of ownership, and the avoidance of building infrastructure internally,
  2. the more popular applications include human resource management, customer relationship management (CRM), and a host of other smaller market applications, including project management, and
  3. parts of applications are migrating to SaaS delivery — an example would a specialized application within a business that would then leverage Saas-delivered communication and collaboration capabilities.

What does this mean for all of us as project managers? It means that there is a whole set of evolving capabilities out there that we can take advantage of, and that we need to think strategically about how we might employ SaaS as part of our projects. There is much to get our arms around regarding SaaS. There are many issues when it comes to marketing software and the place that SaaS might have in a product line. This would be of especially high concern to a program manager involved with the delivery of a software product line. You can find a great deal of information on a terrific and insightful free podcast simply called Software as a Service (SaaS) that is part of the McKinsey "On High Tech" podcast series available on iTunes.

John Reiling, PMP
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