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SaaS – smart (services), affordable (applications), anywhere (availability), secure (softwares) Part 2

In this part I will go in some details regarding what are the current drawbacks of vendor softwares and how SaaS provides a better mechanism to overcome these issues

Issues with traditional vendor softwares:

 In traditional vendor license practice, it is difficult to guarantee the expected returns assurance on software usage as it comprises of many factors, like:

 One time purchase and use all-time: In traditional vendor license practice, the software once purchased may not be replaced easily and the software applications purchased with certain objective if not met cannot be returned to the vendor or changed because the software purchased is a “package software” (as-it-is ready to implement software). So the risk and loss is un-avoidable.

 Un-avoidable upgrades: A major irritating problem with the vendor licensed software application is the upgradation of the software which usually occurs periodically and needs to be done in order to meet the recent technological advancements. This is quite time consuming and cumbersome if needed to be done on multiple machines and at different locations repeatedly.

 Pay for new releases/ versions: The software launched today is the predecessor of its tomorrow’s successor. Thus, today’s software may lack in many features and functions with their tomorrow’s counterpart, which needs to be suppressed again by buying the new/ latest version of that software and replacing it completely which raises both the implementing and operational costs, hampering the budgets.

 No provision for features/ functions enhancement: The package softwares/ applications made are usually made either with specific standard requirements or with a single client’s requirements out of which some may match to any organizations business need or may not match at all. Thus, well publicized software may not be much useful to many of the potential consumers as packaged software application have less or no features/ functions enhancement options.

 Investment on infrastructure: Some major and crucial business applications need huge and high-end infrastructures (high power/ fast processing machines, large number of dedicated machines, some special hardware setup, etc.) which may require huge investments in order to meet the applications specified operational requirements. This may be another hurdle for small or midsize enterprises/ businesses to manage. Also, once the setup is made at a particular location it can’t be moved to or may not be accessed from another location.

 Benefits of SaaS:

 Contrarily, the SaaS platform provides much flexibility and relief in the context of availability, service and infrastructural requirements. For the SaaS model to be deployed in effect, the vendor (software producer) will need to evaluate the traditional application(s) and proceed in a disciplined way to meet/ cover all the major requirements. With proper and well planned process, any organization can migrate to the SaaS platform and reap its valuable benefits. Some of the major benefits of SaaS model are:

 World class solutions: SaaS gives business enterprises access to world class business solutions and the state-of-the-art services which many businesses may not be able to afford in due time. Also, the software available will always be latest and upgraded version, as the upgrades and advance functionalities are always provided to the existing consumers and physical upgrade is not required to be done by users.

 Benefits of shared services: As the SaaS model is based on a major principle of resource sharing it gives innumerous benefits to its user not only through the software applications usage but also through all-time availability of information and resources (latest) just a click away, probably from any part of the globe.

 Pay for subscription: SaaS is a subscription based service; consumers can use it as per their requirement and need. So, if in case the requirement for any software is only for 2 years the cost that needs to be paid is only for that particular period. When the subscription is over/ lapsed the software no more stands valid for the users. Same is not the case with traditional vendor license practice.

 Provision of customizing the features: Customers using services through SaaS platform have a greater provision and possibility to get the existing application customized (modified) with added features/ functionalities as per the requirements and business needs as and when required. This facility leads to a greater flexibility to users and an ideal to choose.

 Minimum investments required: When businesses use a SaaS model, companies do not need to invest in expensive infrastructure, update their hardware, spend money on hardware maintenance and train employees on how to use the new hardware and so on. Thus, overall expenditure is reduced to a great extent and also there are less chances of down-time and loss of productivity due to “down-time” which usually do not exist in SaaS.

 Secure and disaster proof: As SaaS is service-based, it is the sole responsibility of the service provider for security compliance and other related confidentiality parameters. Also, it is the service provider’s duty to provide its customers all the services uninterruptedly irrespective of any critical situations (e.g., any emergency, disaster, and long down-time).

 Anywhere availability and accessibility: As stated earlier that SaaS is delivery of software services over Internet, it can be made available anywhere anytime and accessible to any one as and when required (always uptime) giving much better flexibility to users.

 An example: A software development company (involved in complete application development) having its in-house testing team needs to manage its testing activities and seeks a good test management tool but at an affordable and reasonable costs. As the organizations scope of testing and its management is limited so buying a conventional dedicated test management tool will be tedious job because of the cost burden. Here comes a better solution to overcome the load of huge cost of the tool by choosing an on-demand, SaaS based test management tool to manage and operate all the testing activities; now-a-days various service providers in the market like QMETRY deliver acceptably fine services in this domain, which would surely help such organizations in managing their testing activities in effective and secured way.  

 SaaS due to its salient features (through cloud computing) has numerous features and advantages over the traditional licensed software applications and is one of the best solutions for the small and midsize business enterprises, also a vital choice for startup companies! Gradually, today various flavors of SaaS are evolving in different form like “infrastructure-as-a-service”, “Back/ storage-as-a-service” are name to few. SaaS is just not “Software-as a Service” but also “Smart service of (,) affordable applications (,) all-time available [anywhere] (,) securely”.


  • TechRepublic’s article “Resource GuideSoftware as a Service (SaaS) for Small and Midsize Business (SMB)”
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_as_a_service
  • http://www.saasblogs.com/
  • TechRepublic, 10 ways to manage your risk with Web applications

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