As computer and internet technologies have evolved, so have the products and applications that are available. While it used to be that software applications would come as a self-contained program, more companies are switching to SaaS-based platforms. Essentially, a “software as a service” or SaaS, is an application that can be accessed as a subscription. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages for those looking to build a SaaS application.
Advantages of Building a SaaS Application
Lower Up-Front Costs – One of the foremost advantages of building a SaaS application is the fact that it is usually cheaper to get the project started. With a SaaS application, you will not have to worry about building all features at once before being able to grant access to your clients. You can build the initial versions of the app and start offering to clients, and then increasingly adding new functionalilty.
Easy to Upgrade – When you are building a SaaS application it is easy to deal with updates and hardware upgrades, as the platform is already being hosted, so there is no need for redeployment at your clients infrastructure or sending each one of them an upgrade set of files. This substantially decreases the workload once the project is up and running.
Instantly Accessible – The internet can be accessed from nearly anywhere in the world these days and this bodes well for SaaS application developers. So long as there is a sufficient connection to the internet, then changes to the SaaS application can be quickly implemented from any location.
Disadvantages of Building a SaaS Application
Security Concerns – There is no doubt that the primary disadvantage to building a SaaS application is the chance of security breaches. While in a self-contained application, user information is stored locally, in a SaaS service user data, including credit card numbers and personal information, it stored in a cloud. If there is a flaw in the security system then subscriber information could be compromised. You should ask your software development team to perform regular security checks as to confirm the App has no vulnerabilities.
Internet Requirements – While access to the internet is available almost anywhere, there are spots where access is very limited. This limited access can cause problems for those building SaaS applications, as they will require an internet connection to perform any necessary changes or updates. Your development team should provide 24/7 support from a highly connected development center.
Control Issues – Seeing as SaaS applications are typically hosted by a third party, this limits the amount of control that developers will have once the service is launched. This lack of control also causes issues for users, as they will be forced to keep up with updates and other system requirements. In essence, as the SaaS application is updated, there is no way of going back to preexisting interfaces, whether the user would prefer it or not. This should be something you discuss thoroughly with your development team, so you can plan on offering different features to different clients, as well as ways of ensuring all production deployments are done when most of your users are not using the App.
There are many things to consider when building a SaaS application, as it comes with many advantages and some disadvantages. Perhaps the greatest motivator in creating a SaaS service is the low budget that is required to get the project off the ground. In addition, once the application has been deployed it is easy to make updates, so long as there is an internet connection. On the other hand, there are disadvantages that need to be considered as well when planning the product and the deployment of versions. There is nothing more important to a SaaS application than keeping user information secure, and since the data for the app will be stored in a cloud there is always the possibility of a security breach. If you are planning to develop and deploy a SaaS application, be sure to keep these tips in mind, and you are sure to have a successful launch.