From on-premise to SaaS: A new era for e-commerce

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19.6.2024
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uring Emerce e-Commerce Live, Erwin Ouwejan, Business Consultant at Strix, gave a presentation on why SaaS is increasingly the best choice for e-commerce organizations. Ouwejan, with years of experience in the digital agency world, in both development and consultancy, shared his insights on the benefits of SaaS compared to traditional on-premise solutions.

The e-commerce market: traditional vs SaaS solutions

Erwin began his talk with a comparison between traditional on-premise solutions and the rise of SaaS (Software as a Service) in the e-commerce sector. He emphasised that on-premise solutions can often be extended and adapted to specific business processes, but this also results in high costs and complexity. "You often see companies adding so many extensions to their systems that updates become costly and complicated, sometimes adding up to hundreds of thousands of euros," Ouwejan said.

In contrast, he contrasted the simplicity and efficiency of SaaS solutions, such as Shopify and commerce tools. These platforms are designed with the end user in mind and require less maintenance as updates are performed automatically. Moreover, SaaS solutions can better handle spikes in demand, such as during Black Friday, as scalability is automatically managed by the service provider.

The benefits of SaaS

Erwin highlighted several advantages of SaaS solutions:

  1. Lower management costs: Updates and maintenance are performed by the service provider, leading to lower costs and less effort for internal IT teams.
  2. Scalability: SaaS platforms can easily scale up and down based on demand, without companies having to invest in additional hardware or infrastructure.
  3. Focus on merchant enablement: SaaS solutions are often highly customisable through no-code configuration capabilities and therefore do not require technical knowledge to manage, allowing companies to focus more on their core business.

Challenges and drawbacks of SaaS

Although SaaS offers many advantages, Ouwejan also recognised some disadvantages. One of the main drawbacks is the limited extensibility and customisation options compared to on-premise solutions. In addition, data ownership is an issue, as the data is stored in the service provider's environment. "It is essential to properly understand how to export and manage data within a SaaS environment," Ouwejan warned. He stressed that companies should think carefully about their data management strategy before making the switch to SaaS.

A sustainable change

Erwin called for a sustainable change in the way companies approach their development lifecycle. "By spending less time and budget on back-end customisations, companies can invest more in the customer-facing aspects of their platform," he said. This means a shift of focus to the front-end, where customer interaction takes place and value is created.

SaaS as the future for e-commerce

Erwin concluded his presentation with a vision of the future of e-commerce, in which SaaS solutions will play an increasing role. He cited the example of software platforms that once started as on-premise solutions but have now successfully moved to SaaS, such as commercetools and Adobe Commerce.

"In the current market, you can see that SaaS platforms like Shopify and commercetools are gaining ground, even among large companies. This indicates that they can be deployed in increasingly complex settings," Ouwejan concluded. He encouraged attendees to seriously consider SaaS as a sustainable and efficient solution for their e-commerce needs.

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