SaaS? PaaS? IaaS? Which "as-a-service" is best for TMS?

SaaS? PaaS? IaaS? Which "as-a-service" is best for TMS?

by Marly Hazen McQuillen
18. April 2012 08:04

Cloudy outlook for IT investments

25% of business executives believe that cloud computing will influence business strategy, according to a January 2012 study from IDG Enterprise.

Worldwide spending for Software-as-a-Service is expected to increase by 17.9% in 2012, according to Gartner's figures released on April 10. Several regions are forecasted to have substantial spending and revenue increases from 2011 to 2012:

  • Japan's SaaS market is projected to increase from $427 to $495.2 million (~16.0%).
  • North America's SaaS market is projected to increase from $7.8 to $9.1 billion (~16.7%).
  • Western Europe's SaaS market is projected to increase from $2.7 to $3.2 billion (~18.5%).
  • Latin America's SaaS market is projected to increase from $331.1 to to $419.7 million (~26.8%).
  • APAC's SaaS market (excluding Japan) is projected to increase from $730.9 to $934.1 million (~27.8%).

How do SaaS, PaaS and IaaS stack up?

In the words of Professor Christopher Barnatt, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) are "the three building blocks of cloud computing." As the video details, SaaS, PaaS and IaaS are suited to different uses because "each offers a different level of user flexibility and control."

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): Shipper runs cloud-hosted applications provided by a vendor.
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): Shipper builds its own applications using the cloud vendor's tools and programming languages.
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS): Shipper runs its own software on cloud-hosted hardware.

Should shippers use PaaS or IaaS for TMS?

What's in the cloud: PaaS? SaaS? IaaS?

If a shipper were looking to build its own transportation management applications, Platform-as-a-Service would be one possible solution, although Barnatt warns that the shipper would not be able to transfer the apps it develops to a new vendor's platform.

If a shipper were looking to host transportation management software that it had developed internally, Infrastructure-as-a-Service would be a sensible solution to reduce hosting costs and the IT team's maintenance requirements.

Why use a SaaS-based Transportation Management System?

Software-as-a-Service is cost-effective for manufacturers and other shippers. Because of its multi-tenant architecture, SaaS is also scalable, which is necessary for a logistics service provider's TMS.

When using a SaaS-based Transportation Management System like the one CTSI-Global offers, the TMS provider is responsible for developing and maintaining both the software (applications) and hardware (servers). This enables the shipper or 3PL to focus on its core competencies while the TMS provider focuses on transportation solutions.

See also: INFOGRAPHIC: Get SaaSy: Top 4 reasons TMS needs SaaS

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