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?