Not Everyone is Sold on SaaS…

If you read the trade journals and even the Wall Street Journal, you would think every single company in the universe was running their CRM system or some other part of their IT stack via a SaaS model.

But as we in the real world of IT know, this is definitely not the case. But SaaS does have an abundance of pundits that act as if only the most mesozoic of companies are not taking advantage of SaaS. So, when I saw an article at BusinessWeek’s online site that was skeptical of SaaS – I had to read it.

The article makes a lot of interesting claims, under the notion of demystifying the shiny glow SaaS has earned from the press. Some areas have slivers of truth: yes, on an ongoing basis, SaaS applications can cost more than on-site applications.

But some areas are wrong, mainly out of ignorance than malice, I believe. Myth #4 in the article talks about security – mainly at the data level. First off, many SaaS data centers are far more secure than the facilities any small business operates. Secondly, when it comes to backing up data, some SaaS players are better than others. SugarCRM, for example, created its multi-instance approach to SaaS with more secure and faster/easier data backup in mind. And, since Sugar is one of the few SaaS CRM providers that offer an on-site version, people can get their data from our servers and quickly have it running on their servers in hours, if needed.

Tis article got a lot of (mostly angry) responses. I especially liked this one (mainly because it so perfectly echoes my last point):

…it’s interesting that naysayers are quick to criticize SaaS on this issue, but don’t consider the instances in which people put data on their locally-installed programs at risk.

And as some more investigative readers pointed out – the author is a Goldmine and Microsoft reseller – two CRM vendors with little to no SaaS offerings or weight in the SaaS market. So, while it is true that SaaS is not for everybody – one simply cannot discount SaaS as expensive, not secure and void of robust functionality.