Posted by & filed under Cloud Computing, Ecommerce, SaaS, Security, wireless networks.

Description: Not all businesses flock to cloud computing, though. What its proponents tout as its main benefit – applications and data on the internet – its critics impugn as a potential weakness

Source: CBC News

Date: Oct 26, 2010

Cash-strapped startups and small companies like cloud computing for various reasons. Clients can rent hosted versions of enterprise-class systems like Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange (as well as industry-specific applications like myJDesktop), often for manageable monthly fees. This helps them avoid big up-front payouts to buy servers and software, as well as maintenance fees for things like updates, data backup and general IT costs.   Click here for rest of story

Questions for discussion:
• What are the benefits of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)?
• What are the downsides of adopting  Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)?
• Why would a small business look to specifically adopt SaaS strategy in their organization?

19 Responses to “Software-as-a-service fills market niche”

  1. Crystal

    There are many benefits of Saas. One is that it is cheaper to rent hosted versions of the system for a controllable monthly fee rather than pay a large upfront sum to buy the servers and software need, as well as all the costs to maintain and back up the software on a regular basis. Another advantage is that clients can access their accounts from anywhere. The information is not tied to one computer. As a client you are not locked in so it’s not a problem to switch providers. Saas also allows mobilization and collaboration for companies. These benefits can help a business mature.

  2. Rohann K

    Software-as-a-service helps businesses who are not familiar with certain software to work these software effectively. Sometimes doing the work yourself will cost your company a lot of money and might take you a long time. So by using these services, it will decrease on the amount you spent and save time for your business. This will help your business to stay competitive in your industry!

  3. Kayley F

    In response to discussion question 2:

    There are some disadvantages to users of the Software-as-a-service program, as there is little control of many factors. First off, the Internet is essential in order for a company to take advantage of SAAS, and many factors can cause the Internet to be inaccessible for short periods of time, such as power outages, server maintenance, etc. The access of pivotal information can be limited or suppressed without the company’s control. Also, the company may overlook researching many crucial facts about how the SAAS provider stores their information, backs it up, how it remains secure, what usage policies they use, and what type of data is allowed to be stored on the server. The company could potentially lose all their information if they do not have a contingency plan if the SAAS server collapses or is taken away from misuse.

  4. Mary Elizabeth Telfer

    I think that the benefits here out weigh the possibility of your information falling in the wrong hands. You could have the same issue of your information being lost, or stolen with a lawyer accidentally leaving your file in a coffee shop, or dropping it on the side walk and someone picking it up. These companies may even make your information more secure because they are in the business of storing and securing data. This makes it possible for even the smallest company to secure your personal data. And it may even save the consumer money, by making the lawyer, or employee more efficient in their work.

  5. Nicole

    A small business would look to adopt a SaaS strategy to because it offers a cheaper solution to purchasing entire servers and software. There is less cost associated with SaaS because the users do not have to worry about software updates and IT costs in general. For a small business, it would also be attractive because of its portability; information can be accessed anywhere at any time. Another appealing feature is that these service providers do not lock in their clients so switching providers is relatively easy. Small businesses can feel secure because most SaaS providers outline the measure they take to safeguard customer information.

  6. Esmarilin

    Saas has brought companies a new way of accessing their data via the web , without operating costs such as back up costs and installation costs. In doing so this saves small companies and companies who have just started off, money which is one of the many advantages to Saas. Another advantage is simply the idea of being able to access your information, anywhere at any time. For many occupations such as lawyers, this is an ideal advantage.In order to have access to this service, a small monthly fee is paid, instead of a huge upfront lump sum. On the other hand there re also disadvantages to this service which is the common concern of many companies. That being the issue of Privacy. Who is to know, how safe your information really is? . I believe that in light of this situation, Saas has dealt with it in a formal manner by adressing the many ways in which they try to secure their date, and back up plan for all the data.In the end it is the consumers decision, to entrust their data by making an informed decision.

  7. Seth E.

    Most definitely, this is where companies are going in the future. It allows small companies (or in this case, the company didn’t even exist until the service was developed) to compete fairly. I think that technology is progressing towards convenience. People want things to be more convenient for them. Why have a cell phone? why have a smart phone? why laptops/tablets? why mp3 players? It’s all about making things more convenient, even though there are several downfalls of using these devices. One people see the benefits of a new or improved technology and see how it will make it more convenient for them, they will eventually start using it regardless of the issues. Facebook and Google are perfect examples. Recently, Facebook and Google have both been having issues with their privacy. Everybody knows it, but it’s just too convenient to use these tools and we don’t want to let go of them. The same will hold true for SaaS. The convenience will make consumers say they want it, and firms will comply so that they can meet the demands of the market.

  8. Dave S

    I feel that Software-as-a-service is a very useful resource for a business. These applications are especially helpful for SME’s that are operating in a small market or are in the beginning of operation. S.a.a.s. provides these companies with an application that would normally cost large amounts of money (buying software and hardware to store data, workforce to implement, maintenance for upkeep of system). By purchasing the use of these applications companies are also given a reasonable amount of flexibility in this decision because (depending on the contract) there is the option to change providers of the service. If this system was purchased (software and hardware) by a company and the company did not like how it operated, it would be extremely expensive to replace. There is, of course, the reality of data theft. but if a pragmatic analysis of options is used, this risk can be avoided. Research is absolutely critical when selecting a form of S.a.a.s. and the company that is performing the service.

  9. Mahreen

    I believe that adopting the SAAS strategy would be really beneficial for companies and the positives definitely exceed the negatives. It saves you money as it is so inexpensive and time for one. Also, which in turn you can focus your technology budgets on competitive advantage rather than infrastructure. Also lets you gain immediate access to latest innovations in other words you can benefit from SAAS on an ongoing basis and could be a great asset for the business.

  10. Nianze

    New application software would probably improve the company’s operational activities in efficiency and effective. However, it is costly to set up and implement new application software into a company’s market system. The company then has to ensure the network infrastructure working compatible, application availability for customers in term of security, consistency, and available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Also, the company will have to ensure the cost of effective to implement the new software. Furthermore, there are some issues exist when the new applications just start up in term of accessibility. In worst case scenario, some data might be lost if the software doesn’t run probably or in the process of back up.

  11. Jason F

    I believe there are many benefits to using SaaS. There are alot of start-up companies around the world, but with this software, it saves alot of money, because they use the software of the “host”. The start-up company does not have to worry about back-ups or recovery, or even viruses, instead of clogging up their computers and servers and files, they just use the “host’ computer and everything is secure. With this software, you are also able to work from your office, home, or on the road, which is always good if you have a family, so you can be around for them.
    There is always a risk with hackers and people who steal information from online users, but SaaS uses secure protection to make sure you feel secure with putting your personal information on the web.

  12. JP Pohl

    One of the discussion points mentioned both in the video and in the article is that via cloud computing, or SaaS, less resources need to be used in understanding how an application works. This strikes me as encouraging ignorance through the ease of us of cloud computing. There is continuous talk in both pieces about understanding what you need from a program and ensuring that you get the right services, but it seems quite off not to know how a program works in order to provide the service to you that you require. Ease of use and low-costs are one thing, but being completely ignorant of how a program works and what resources it requires in a tradition set-up only creates an atmosphere where not knowing more than the bare minimum is acceptable.

  13. Sydney H.

    One benefits of SaaS, and cloud computing specifically, is the fact that clients can rent hosted versions of enterprise-class systems, for manageable monthly fees, which helps them avoid up-front and operating expenses. SaaS is easy to access and even allows mobile access. SaaS allows collaboration between businesses and other businesses, consumers, or employees. Collaboration may also exist between one businesses applications. A downside to adopting SaaS, cloud computing, is that you may not know what hardware is being used, or even where that hardware may be located. Companies need to be in control of employee access to avoid inaccurate, or even malicious, information being stored for later access. If something goes wrong with the application customers will blame you, not your service provider, so ensure your service provider has at least the same level of security as you would. A small downside is also the requirement of an Internet connection, which is becoming more and more available. Small businesses may look to specifically adopt SaaS strategy to increase collaboration, increase efficiency, and decrease costs.

  14. Sunny P.

    I think Cloud Computing can be a beneficiary and a bad thing for many organizations. Beneficiary in the way that all there work and everything is controlled by a online software which is maintained and looked after day to day. Also it can provide state of the art systems that the enterprise could not even come up with. On the down side it can be very risky if the main hub that controls the information and the softwares mixes them up with other clients they have . Also having other people access you business information can be very dangerous to a certain extent because you may never know what they might actually use the information for one day if they feel like. However, For small business purpose’s i think its a great way to get good systems installed and may take them a long and successful way if everything works out right for them through the cloud computing software.

  15. Paul Quick

    Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has many benefits. The main benefit associated with SaaS is avoiding having to set these systems up yourself, which can be an expensive, complicated, and time consuming process. In addition to this, you do not have to worry about upgrading, maintenance, or additional staffing costs. SaaS also ensures that your business data is stored in another location, which is a very important aspect of disaster recovery planning. However, businesses must be very wary of the companies they are doing business with, as there are downsides and risks linked with SaaS, such as information security.

    SaaS business solutions can be very appealing to small businesses because of the cost savings. A typical small business does not have the funds to set up and maintain these systems, which makes SaaS very attractive.

  16. brian rollag

    For small business SaaS can have many benefits. The ability to pay for the use of software on a monthly basis instead of purchasing the software, paying somebody to install it, and all the maintenance costs that goes with a lot of business software has many cost saving advantages. Also it gives them the ability to take a test run of software they may be considering or be able to buy when the company grows in the future at minimal cost. Because of the relatively low cost small business will be able to implement software into the company earlier which will also have many benefits for small companies trying to gain an advantage.

  17. Travis VH

    Using software as a service provides multiple advantages for users. Saas is easy to use and it is accessible to anyone. It is cheap as there is no start up cost and you don not have to come up with a large sum of upfront cash to develop your own backup systems. Once your data has been transferred to this cloud of data it becomes accessible to you any time at almost any place in the world. Saas also has downsides to it as your information becomes available to outsides so your information has less privacy. Another negative to Saas is that your information can get mixed up with other companies.

  18. Bryce G

    SaaS continues to be one of the hot topics in business technology and new business ventures. As a person who embraces new technology, I am very interested in this concept of having more and more technology and efficiency at a lower cost to business. Imagine having new technologies that can be implemented in a very short period, with low start-up costs and having access to the new technology for everyone in your business. The benefits of having a professional technician maintain the software, while your company gains the advantages of having reliable software solutions is an indispensable asset for the company. We should expect no less than the leaps and bounds of growth in this sector of business and internet technology.

  19. Nadine Kirschenman

    The major benefit that I see from this type of technology, is being able to use software to help your business complete tasks. This would be very helpful for small companies that can not afford to buy its own software.
    the major downside to this technology is privacy. When using SaaS you would have to make sure that your network is secured and everything is encrypted. And if you competitors were using the same cloud, you would have to make sure that the provider is keeping your information and thier information seperate.
    I know for a fact that this type of technology would benefit many organizations and help them to grow and gain insight and not have to buy the software. I think that all small organizations (or large) should consider using this type of information.

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