Below I detail what I understand are the advantages and disadvantages of saas and paas and that of course influence the decision of adoption in companies. To a lesser or greater extent, all of them are related to saas and paas and therefore I preferred not to separate them.
Called Software as a Service , it is a distribution model where the company offers a maintenance, support and operation service for a task in question. The client will have access from a client or Internet where he will be able to manage the contracted tools.
The SaaS features intrinsic to the cloud and other more typical of this type of service advantages. In the latter case, it offers a specialized space to a company that does not have to be. In this way, it reduces implementation and support costs since the software is foreign and it is not necessary to take charge of its maintenance or management. In addition, the payment is usually based on a monthly fee that can be withdrawn at any time without purchase of licenses.
However, it also has its downside. The software is not proprietary so it is not possible to make changes unless it is previously passed by the service provider. In addition, it is necessary to have the approval of the ISP for the service to be offered without problems.
As practical examples of companies that offer SaaS we find SalesForce , NetApp or IBM . However, since the cloud phenomenon goes much further, the list of companies that adapt to SaaS could be almost infinite.
This service combines the previous ones, that is, it offers Iaas and Saas in a package. The Platform as a Service is a distribution model where the supplier company is responsible for both the infrastructure and to offer the services that manage it. In fact, the cloud provider is responsible for the network, servers, storage and other value-added services.
The great advantage of PaaS is precisely that it combines the advantages of the previous one. This allows having all the data integrated with the program that manages them in a system. Thus, implementation and integration costs can be saved. Depending on the offer, you can also customize the type of services and scalability required.
Although in this formula the disadvantages are minor, it is worth remembering that this model “binds” us much more to the same provider and depending, the case may limit the power of action.
Among the most famous cases of companies that offer PaaS are Microsoft with its Windows Azure , Amazon with Web Services or Google with App Engine .
- Less initial investment and less risk, being able to use the software without having to make an initial investment in machines, basic software (so) and additional software for the operation of what the application would need in an in-house environment, is an important benefit for IT managers and ultimately for the company.
- Reduction of costs , in addition to paying for only what you need, you get a cost savings of maintenance of the platform of machines and the necessary software (BBDD, Application Server) for your application to run.
- Updates and new immediate functionalities , apart from the fact that we will not require staff dedicated to updates, we will have immediate updates and improvements to the software. Sometimes we can choose the use of new features.
- Support more agile and faster, the bugs of the application have a direct treatment and the solution put into service more quickly than in in-house installations.
- The company focuses its efforts on its business , systems are really outsourced to the point of not devoting efforts in the choice and maintenance of the systems. However, it will always require attention from the department. IT but to a much lesser extent.
- Greater availability and security of data, contrary to what may seem and in view of the disadvantages that we will see below, many companies do not have backup procedures, restore and in general contingency plans in case of loss of information or of hardware failure. Most companies that offer software as a service offer an SLA (service level agreement) tailored to each type of user.
- Low level of confidence in the security of the data, the fact that company data that may or may not be critical but that are evidently private, are not located within the walls of the company is something that generally does not like and especially to the top management that in certain occasions is conservative and skeptical. There remains an arduous work of conviction and exposure of the idea by the IT manager to the rest of the board. The normal thing is to start introducing the idea of software as a service with applications that handle non-critical data (human resources, billing, laws, etc.) and quantify the advantages of SAAS through a scorecard.
- Integration with the rest of the applications of my systems,as it will be normal to have applications with local or in-house installation and saas, there is an increase in complexity in case we want to connect or exploit the data we have in the cloud with the data we have in the company. This increases the degree of importance as the data I keep in the cloud is important
- Need for availability of the data of the cloud , if in addition to the previous disadvantage the application or platform does not have a system (web service, an API, etc. ..) that allows to extract the data, it is a clear inconvenience not to adopt the application in the cloud.
- Sensation of captivity of the client, although in general we have the same problem in in-house installations, in saas or paas where the volume of information stored is important and if we add the latency and speed of the internet, it can be decisive for the choice of software.
- Possible breach of agreements on the level of service , is related to the degree of confidence we have over the software provider or platform as a service. We put in the hands of a provider the operation and service of an application that we know its advantages but its disadvantage is knowing if it will meet the agreed level of service, and obviously is something that if you have it in-house we would not take into account .