A hot topic in the technology world today revolves around SaaS vs. on-premise. What type of solution deployment is best to fit your business’ needs, and why you would select SaaS vs. on-premise? There are many conflicting views or myths that follow SaaS-based solutions.
Let’s first start by defining what SaaS means. SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service, is a software delivery model in which software and storage are provided in the cloud. An end user accesses the software via an Internet browser, not on a local server or computer, as is required for on-premise software. This means you do not need to buy or maintain a server – a significant advantage of SaaS.
Many organizations are moving to a SaaS solution today for various reasons, but SaaS still tends to be overlooked due to misconceptions that are perceived by those that are fearful of adopting it. Here I will review some of the common myths of SaaS.
Myth #1 – SaaS is only for small companies
This is not true. According to the Aberdeen Group, a trusted authority on software solutions, "SaaS and Cloud ERP Observations: Is Cloud ERP Right for You?" a cloud solution enables anyone with internet access the ability to access it. This allows you to connect globally, provide real-time data to your employees allowing them to make more agile decisions that support corporate objectives.
While a SaaS solution does in fact work well for a smaller company that may not have the IT resources to support a software system or server requirements, it does not exclude a larger organization with multiple sites or locations. In fact, implementing a solution that is hosted in the cloud will make it easier for a larger organization with multiple locations to sustain.
For example, organizations no longer need to manage multiple site installations, while maintaining different release versions of a traditional on-premise implementation by leveraging instant upgrades, a unique benefit of SaaS. There’s no reason larger companies can’t reap the same benefits that a small company could.
Myth #2 – You do not own your own data
The question that may pop up into your head if you’re considering a SaaS solution: Are you giving ownership of your data to the software provider? The answer to this really lies in the written agreement you have with your SaaS provider. SaaS software providers are interested in gaining trusted working relationships with their customers.
If a SaaS provider’s goal was to take away the customers’ control of their own financial and operational data, I don’t believe that would be a great start to a business relationship. My advice is to carefully review the Service License Agreement (SLA) in detail to give peace of mind to how your data will be secured. We value our relationship with our customers and trust is of the utmost importance. This is why we secure this relationship with a written agreement to never disclose or access your data.
Myth #3 – SaaS is not secure and not reliable
According to Aberdeen Group, "Web Security in the Cloud: More Secure! Compliant! Less Expensive!" security for on-premise solutions have historically had more data loss and exposure compared to cloud-based solutions. This clearly shows that messaging has been misconstrued regarding SaaS security. With on-premise solutions, data loss can be permanent when a system fails. SaaS back-up processes ensure that downtime is not only extremely rare, but also temporary. The great thing of a SaaS based solution is you can rely on your software vendor to provide a reliable and secure solution by ensuring they’re SSAE16 compliant and follow proper procedures and regulations.
Myth #4 – SaaS cannot be customized
This myth alone may be why organizations have looked beyond SaaS and implemented an on-premise solution. SaaS solutions absolutely allow customization of the application to meet your unique business needs. In fact, SaaS solutions have become so advanced that when an upgrade is pushed to the application, it does not affect the customizations that have been created.
Many organizations may choose to implement an on-premise solution because they need customizations but then fear upgrading their current version due to the potential loss of their customizations. The downfall to not upgrading is losing the opportunity to obtain and use the latest and greatest your software has to offer. SaaS solutions can allow customizations and upgrading without the loss of these customizations. This is a HUGE game-changer. Don’t be fooled by this statement any longer. SaaS can create virtually endless opportunities.
How will you deploy your software solution? Know the significant advantages of accessibility, data security and customization available in a SaaS solution. As you consider the best route of an ERP deployment (SaaS or on-premise) for your business, make sure to remember these myths about SaaS. The industry has done their due diligence to deflect these common myths.
- Katie Hilyar is the Product Manager of KeyedIn Manufacturing at KeyedIn Solutions, Inc.