Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud-based service delivery model that is sweeping the business world on a global level.  Although this model has many advantages that make it highly attractive to today’s global IT market, it is also important to note that there are a few disadvantages that need to be carefully weighed and considered as more and more companies move towards implementing their software in this manner.

3d illustration of computer technologies. Concept server station

3d illustration of computer technologies. Concept server station

Benefits of SaaS

  1. Quick and easy deployment:  Users can simply click on a URL in their web browser to access the most up-to-date software
  2. Attractive pricing models:  Doing away with the traditional software as a product model, SaaS providers do not charge customers for the usual license and maintenance fees but rather for a subscription or per use fee.
  3. Reduced financial risk:  With their common and pervasive “try before you buy” option, users are able to fully experiment with the application before committing to a purchase.
  4. Decreased need for on-site resources:   Software resources (such as support staff and servers) are actually in a different data center located in the cloud
  5. Simplified upgrade process:  Given that only one copy of the software exists in the cloud, it can be easily updated.

Risks of SaaS

  1. Security threat:  It is important to understand that a company’s very secure and/or sensitive data should not be in the cloud.
  2. Data subject to regulations:  Data held in an international data center is subject to the country-specific regulations.
  3. Code customization:  It is challenging to customize the code for individual customers, since the code for the applications are basically similar.
  4. Integration difficult:  Integration of this software can be more challenging than that of traditional software.
  5. Performance issues:  The performance depends greatly on the location of the service provider as well as its network connections.

While it is apparent that there are a variety of pros and cons to using SaaS, it is undeniably becoming the primary way of providing applications to Internet users as a service rather than just a product.

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