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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Agencies not yet sold on software as a service

Industry experts expect the federal government will move more aggressively to buying software as a service during the next two years, but agency officials warned that there are huge security and culture questions that need to be answered first.

Software as a service is a burgeoning trend in the commercial marketplace, but agencies have yet to take full advantage of it, experts say.

The concept of software as a service is not necessarily new — it is similar to managed services or application service provider offerings. In this case, users buy access to a specific platform used by many different companies or agencies at the same time. Users also buy software through a subscription fee or each time they use it as opposed to buying the license and maintenance.

“Software as a service is growing in acceptance, but it is slow,” said Richard Colven, vice president of Input at the Software As A Service conference sponsored by the Software and Information Industry Association, Input and the Information Technology Association of America in Washington.

Colven said Input surveyed 66 federal executives and found many are hesitant to move to this model immediately, but see it happening in time.

Colven and others said examples of software as a service in government include human resource and financial management Line of Business shared service providers.

-Jason Miller, FCW.com

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