Software as a Service (SaaS): Pros and Cons

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Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software delivery model where software is hosted in a central location then deployed as a service and accessed via the internet connection through browsers by remote users. The software services are easily accessible through the delivery vehicle primarily known as cloud computing upon periodical subscriptions (Katzan & Dowling, 2010).

Pros of SaaS

Software as a Service presents value and opportunities for clients and providers alike. The benefits are massive. First, SaaS offer integration and scalability benefits. Using SaaS provides economy of scale. As the user or business grows, the clients experience the benefits of SaaS since the service offers expandable service due to the unlimited capacity of users that are supported. Therefore, when there is a need to add more users in a business, the client will need not invest in additional servers or in extra licensing of software, all what is required is the adjustments in subscription plans (McLellan, 2013).

The SaaS service is highly reliable. The service is always available when needed and the expectations of the users are met conveniently. Compared to the traditional model, the SaaS applications are configured and installed in advance ready for use thus reducing the complexities associated with software deployment (Sylos, 2013). Another benefit lies in the affordability of the service. SaaS operates in a multitenant or shared environment. This has the benefits to clients in that the license costs of software and the accompanying hardware are shared among many users making the service cheap to the several small and medium businesses subscribed to the service (Sylos, 2013). SaaS thus saves businesses on the capital costs of installations, upgrading and maintaining the IT infrastructure.

Usability is yet another merit. The SaaS service is very easy to use and convenient no matter the complexity of the infrastructure that supports the service. According to Sylos (2013), the SaaS presents with samples and best practices where users test the functionality of the software making it easy to use and interact with new releases. Lastly, the SaaS service presents high resilience: the SaaS offers a great advantage to users in that, in case of any disaster that befalls a certain user, it is easy for the user to get back to initial running position since the disaster does not affect the data and the IT infrastructure that are stored remotely (McLellan, 2013).

Cons of SaaS

Software as a service has some disadvantages. The cons of the service include security concerns. Most businesses handle sensitive and confidential data that need not be entrusted to a third party. Where a company accesses such information from multiple devices, then security presents a great headache (McLellan, 2013). Instances may present where startups or established SaaS providers inevitably fail. This presents a great challenge in data mobility. The same challenge presents when need arises to change the service provider and thus the exit strategy becomes complicated. Outages may happen due to natural factors or unavoidable human errors. A lengthy outage is disastrous to a business which makes local hosting of services preferable compared to SaaS.

As detailed above, enterprises need to be aware of the cons and pros while incorporating SaaS into their portfolios that make their IT infrastructure and services. The future of SaaS looks bright, and the service is improving on a daily basis.

References

Katzan, H.,Jr, & Dowling, W. A. (2010). Software-as-A-service economics.The Review of Business Information Systems, 14(1), 27-37. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/194694222?accountid=8289

McLellan C. (2013). Zdnet: Saas: Pros, Cons And Leading Vendors. Retrieved on 26th Feb. 2014 from http://www.zdnet.com/saas-pros-cons-and-leading-vendors-7000011500/

Sylos M. (2013). Thoughts on Cloud: Top Five Benefits of Software as a service (SaaS). Retrieved on 26th Feb. 2013 from

http://thoughtsoncloud.com/2013/09/top-five-advantages-of-software-as-a-service-saas/

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