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.
Benefits of SaaS
- Quick and easy deployment: Users can simply click on a URL in their web browser to access the most up-to-date software
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Simplified upgrade process: Given that only one copy of the software exists in the cloud, it can be easily updated.
Risks of SaaS
- Security threat: It is important to understand that a company’s very secure and/or sensitive data should not be in the cloud.
- Data subject to regulations: Data held in an international data center is subject to the country-specific regulations.
- Code customization: It is challenging to customize the code for individual customers, since the code for the applications are basically similar.
- Integration difficult: Integration of this software can be more challenging than that of traditional software.
- 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.