Letter: What are the benefits of software as a service?

In response to the story, Agencies not yet sold on software as a service, one commenter writes: I'm a manager in the Procurement office of my Agency. I don't understand the difference in buying software to support 1000 people and calling it a service, and my going to the store and buying one copy of MS Office 2007 from Best Buy or Staples. I know this is a simplified example, but from my perspective, either way, the [software] in and of its self is still a commodity. Like [hardware]. What real advantage and savings does the Governement obtain from buying S/W as a service? My agency has several contracts with AT&T Federal Systems. Approximately two years ago they stopped selling network routing H/W  with the incidental maintenance and installation support that would normally be part of the purchase.


The only way you can get this equipment from them now is to buy a "service."  Which also includes a plethora of services, which may or may not be needed, that AT&T promotes as being absolutely essential to support the H/W on today's complex IT networks and enterprises. I don't buy it. From my observation, the only thing my agency has really gained are higher purchase costs. Any help you can provide in my understanding the benefits of this shift to services is greatly
appreciated.

Anonymous


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