Research firm Gartner Inc. validates the view [that SaaS is cost-effective], with certain caveats. For example, if acquiring a packaged application wouldn't require hiring full-time workers or adding hardware, a subscription-based software service might not make long-term sense. Gartner advises users to estimate ongoing operational costs of a SaaS offering for at least three to five years and compare them with the projected investment in a packaged application for the same period, including depreciation on capital expenses. It's important to look at SaaS's long-term budget ramifications, even in these glum economic times, when short-term thinking can be tempting.
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