Enterprise Software and Cloud Computing Blog

Enterprise Software, Necessary Evil or Saving Grace?

Nathan Joyes |

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As printed in the Spring 2012 issues of TheFranchiseVoice, Volume 13, Issue 2

Success rates for traditional enterprise software implementations are abysmal, yet all but the smallest franchise systems rely on enterprise software to be successful.  Should we just resign to the fact that enterprise software is a necessary evil that must be endured?  In the past, you may have been tempted to do so, but today there is a whole new breed of cost-effective enterprise software that is offering new hope.  In fact, through resulting cost reductions and increased purchasing rebates, enterprise software may actually be the saving grace for franchise systems during difficult economic conditions. 

 How Traditional Enterprise Software Measures Up


Traditional Enterprise Software

Software as a Service (SaaS)


large upfront capital investment in software

all-inclusive, predictable monthly subscription

Routine Updates

purchased from vendor by contract or per update

all routine updates are included in subscription fee

Program Maintenance

deployed by client to affected local servers and

automatic program updates managed entirely by vendor

Technical Support

purchased by contract or paid per incident

unlimited technical support included in subscription


costly standalone server hardware and server

multi-tenant infrastructure managed by vendor


costly and slow document printing for direct mail

electronic communication by EDI, or email


varies with backup/restore procedures and in-house

professional maintenance included in subscription


depends on skill-set of internal IT compared with

regularly tested for threats and vulnerabilities


increase in usage requires costly hardware upgrades

add users or increase transactions at any time


downtime can last for days depending on the problem

24x7 network monitoring included in subscription fee


only internal employees and some limited remote

staff and business partner access from anywhere


no vendor obligation after initial implementation

vendor must continually ‘earn’ the subscription fee


information is often posted daily or weekly

information is updated in real-time

Learning Curve

proprietary interfaces with steep learning curve

standard html web pages with very little training

The new breed of enterprise software has been written from the ground up to take advantage of cloud computing.  Cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server.  At this point, you may be thinking that sounds a lot like a website and wondering what all the cloud computing hype is all about.

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