Open source v On-demand

While Mark Suster is no longer involved in the day-to-day running of a construction collaboration business, he is still a strong believer in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Having taken up a non-executive role with CTSpace (see BuildOnline + Citadon = CTSpace) in order to devote his time to running Koral (which has apparently raised $4m funding), Mark’s latest post to the Koral blog is an interesting comparison of the merits of on-demand and open source approaches. His argument boils down to ‘horses for courses’:

Open Source is a perfect model for companies that want to bring IT in-house and control it. It works incredibly well in a development environment where you want to have control of the code, tightly integrate it with your product and potentially even OEM the software as part of your stack. …. Open Source also works well in corporate enterprises with business applications provided that the company taking on the software has a predilection to control the software, to tinker with it, to change the code – to “own it” in a way. …

SaaS is perfectly suited for businesses that want the power of business applications without the hassle or expense of buying hardware, provisioning a hosting environment, worrying about when the next patch is going to be released, managing both the application and the infrastructure that runs on top of it. In short, SaaS is perfect for the vast majority of small-and-mid-sized businesses globally and for departments of companies that have a business need for software and don’t have the time or inclination to wait until they are able to get internal IT resources allocated to help with their projects.

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