Although the SaaS (software as a service) is a viable model between open source and enterprise systems. Companies need to consider the risks associated with the model for the long term. Tony Byrne at CMS watch has some good advice.
Pain in the SaaS? When your traditional software vendor hosts your application
by Tony Byrne
I recently chatted separately with to two unhappy customers of established content management software vendors that had created hosted service offerings as an alternative to their traditional, installed products. Both customers had expected a more tightly packaged service, and both were surprised by escalating consulting and maintenance costs.
Of course, two customers doth not necessarily make a trend, but I’ve heard similar echoes before, and — based on conversations with software vendors who seem to soft-pedal the problem — I suspect there is more discontent out there about this model than generally known.
As a buyer you should understand that contracting with a supplier simply to host and customize traditional software is not the same thing as working with a well thought-through, “native” Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that was built from the ground up by a company dedicated to providing such a service. There is a case to be made for outsourcing application hosting and support, as well as a case for true SaaS. Just make sure you know the difference — and know what you’re getting in either case.