Advantages and Disadvantages of using SaaS
The SaaS model has a number of pros and cons, although for modern businesses and users the pros of SaaS often outweigh the cons. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using SaaS applications:
- Advantage: Access from anywhere, on any device. Typically, users can log into SaaS applications from any device and any location. This offers a great deal of flexibility — businesses can allow employees to operate all over the world, and users can access their files no matter they are. In addition, most users use multiple devices and replace them often; users don’t need to reinstall SaaS applications or purchase new licenses each time they switch to a new device.
- Advantage: No need for updates or installations. The SaaS provider updates and patches the application on an ongoing basis.
- Advantage: Scalability. The SaaS provider handles scaling up the application, such as adding more database space or more compute power as usage increases.
- Advantage: Cost savings. SaaS cuts down on internal IT costs and overhead. The SaaS provider maintains the servers and infrastructure that support the application, and the only cost to a business is the subscription cost of the application.
- Disadvantage: The need for stronger access control. The increased accessibility of SaaS applications also means that verifying user identity and controlling access level. becomes very important. With SaaS, organizational assets are no longer kept within an internal network, separate from the outside world. Instead, user access is based on user identity: if someone has the right login credentials, they are granted access. Strong identity verification thus becomes crucial.
- Disadvantage: Vendor lock-in. A business may become overly reliant on the SaaS application provider. It’s time-consuming and expensive to move to a new application if an organization’s entire database is stored within the old application.
- Disadvantage (for enterprises): Security and compliance. With SaaS applications, the responsibility for protecting those applications and their data moves from internal IT teams to the external SaaS providers. For small to medium-sized businesses, this is less of a disadvantage, as large cloud providers typically have more resources for putting strong security in place. But this can be a challenge if a large business faces tight security or regulatory standards. In some cases businesses will be unable to assess their applications’ security themselves, for instance by performing penetration testing . Essentially, they have to take the external SaaS provider’s word that the application is secure.