Parthenon Software Group

The Impact of Organizational Entrenchment

Over the years there's been a big debate between the merits of SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) and on-premise software. But is one necessarily better than the other? Of course it depends on the organization in question. Then again, there are cases in which organizations have switched from one to the other. As such a lot of emphasis has been placed on organizational entrenchment within a company and how said company addresses complications that arise.

What is organizational entrenchment?

Entrenchment refers to firmly establishing something or oneself. In the case of organization entrenchment, it becomes a matter of establishing practices that can and will resist change and are more likely to remain intact for the long haul. Such is important has it sets organizational standards for structure and methodology.

So, what's the big deal with SaaS and on-premise software?

While organizational entrenchment can be applied in different contexts, one of the biggest areas of interest comes from making a decision between SaaS and on-premise software. Basically that each approach has its own methodology and adheres to the practices therein.


Obviously SaaS is a big thing. What you have here is access to provider managed and delivered software that is centrally located and accessible via subscription through the Internet. In this sense, you have access to it from anywhere at any time. Moreover, because of its nature, it's also known as "on demand software" and you only pay for what you use.

In addition, it's generally been noted that SaaS is faster in terms of reaching the goal as well as having lower costs. Furthermore, upgrades, security, etc are the provider's responsibility so the user doesn't have to worry about them. That being said, there's also the potential for capacity issues depending on your network connection and how clogged or unclogged it is. Other issues which could cause potential problems include information security, integrity and availability


As for on-premise, this particular approach involves software that is run on company owned and issued machines as well as on company grounds. As such, there are few more restrictions to consider when implementing this course.

Sill, it's important to remember that on-premise software has its benefits. For instance, data security problems are reduced because business is kept within a closed system as well as remaining close to the source. There's also a control factor to consider. With on-premise software, you have more control over the software itself, though you may want to have in-house IT staff monitor things. At the same time, it's equally important to be aware that up front costs can be high -you're paying for servers, infrastructure as well as diagnostic and repair costs.

Where are the complications?

In general terms, the method of software delivery has been via either SaaS or on-premise software, but not both.

That being said, disruption to this thought process comes from organizations reverting to on-premise software from SaaS due to any number of factors, including poor service. As a result, on-premise software must go through some changes that don’t necessarily go along with established practices. Thus, there are IT complexities/challenges that must be addressed. Factors such as faster change cycles, shorter development time, and reduced budgets appear to be better served by SaaS. However, if you were to revert to on-premise, it goes without saying that you still expect such needs to be fulfilled by on-premise. In other words, it's kind of like having to bring on-premise up to speed with SaaS in terms of those factors while working within the restrictions of being on-premise. In such a situation, it seems like you have to find a way to way to combine elements -however small they may be- of both SaaS and on-premise.


What's the takeaway from all this? Organizational entrenchment is a good thing, but one should also take fluctuations into consideration.. Here you have the policies and operational practices that dictate how your organization approaches different projects and goals. That being said, there are times when these guidelines do change despite initial intentions to see that they don't. As in the case of revision, it's a matter of being aware of complexities and challenges and the ability to rise up and meet them.

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