SaaS – for consumer or enterprise

A post by Judith Hurwitz warning about SaaS (Software as a Service) advises business that they need to know what they are getting into before they make a hasty decision. Some of the questions like should be asking are around their use of and attitude towards their data, and what are the third-party software integration issues they need to understand.

Sadagopan lists a number of applications that lend themselves to SaaS: “HR/Payroll; Procurement, Financial management; Business-to-consumer (B2C), e-commerce/product catalogs including dynamic pricing models, Loyalty management, Marketing & Sales promotions”

It seems to me that SaaS has a better in the consumer arena than in the enterprise. I haven’t come across a single company that has just one set of software application that runs the operations of the enterprise – either in finance and admin, distribution or manufacturing.

As for the data question, there may be some data that a business will let someone else manage, but every business has some data that they consider too confidential or proprietary to let someone take it over. How would a SaaS application handle that scenario?

Then there are the issues of country-specific regulation, whether in accounting, governance, safety regulation, data privacy, HR (which here in South Africa would include BEE – black economic empowerment).

I see Anshu proclaiming Oracle’s position in the SaaS stakes. I wonder how he would respond?

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2 thoughts on “SaaS – for consumer or enterprise

  1. Well, I think that you are raising some valid concerns but most of these concerns can be addressed using existing technology. For example, just because my data is stored by a SaaS vendor does not mean that she should be able to access it. You can use in-built encryption technology in Oracle Database (Transparent Data Encryption) and use Database Vault functionality that prevents even a DBA from being able to see the data. Just because the SaaS vendor’s DBA needs to manage a database, she should not have the right to see the data being managed.

    There are solutions available for various other concerns. I recommend an interested reader to read Oracle SaaS Platform whitepaper to learn more.

    (These views are personal. By way of disclaimer, I am currently involved with Oracle SaaS Platform.)

  2. If you subscribe to SaaS, you cannot dictate that they use your Oracle. It is also not up to you to encrypt the data.

    you use whatever is provided.

    If you have concerned about data being hosted by someone else, then do it yourself. It is a self-imposed restriction that puts you in a disadvantage.

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