Over on CRM Helpdesk software, Gene posted one of those posts sure to create some heated discussion. His was one of those "myth-busting" posts that in equal measure confuses and clarifies the situation. Gene believes he busted the following five myths;

SaaS Is Cheaper

Gene uses that old chestnut – the monthly fee times the number of seats times 12 months – to suggest that installed software can in fact be cheaper than SaaS. What he fails to point out however is the most important measure, total cost of ownership (TCO). Independent analyses have shown time and time again that TCO for SaaS is lower when deployment costs, integration, training and CapEx are taken into account

SaaS Reduces Hardware Investment

Gene says that because you’ll still need Internet access, latest operating systems and network infrastructure, that the decreased hardware investment point is a myth. The fact is the operating requirements for a SaaS app are significantly lower than with installed apps. Most installed apps pull data off a local or remote network anyway – so the network hardware requirement is a given. As witnessed by the recent discussions over whether SaaS vendors should continue ie6 support or not, it can be seen that both the soft and hardware requirements for SaaS apps will generally also be lower than for installed apps.

SaaS Is Quicker to Set Up

Again apples with apples – my contention (and this is borne out through empirical evidence) is that a comparative SaaS app will generally be quicker to set up and deploy than its installed competitor. Gene also brings up the "customisation takes time" issue – again when comparing apples with apples the architecture and openness of SaaS apps generally results in customisations being easier than in a similar installed product.

Your Data Are Secure and Backed Up

Ahhh – the old "you don’t know how secure the data centre hosting you information is" issue. How many of us have had laptops stolen, hard-drives burnt out or e-tards mistakenly press "delete". Sure there are issues with SaaS solutions but measure for measure I trust someone whose entire business model rests on keeping my data safe and secure more than an employee that just wants to go home on a Friday afternoon.

You’ve Actually Been Using SaaS for Years – Look at Your Bank Account

Gene rolls up concerns around access to data, offline capability, migration agreements and the like to claim that a SaaS app is very different from a bank account (or a telco account for that matter). To a certain extent I agree that using the, "SaaS is like your bank" analogy, isn’t helpful for SaaS vendors. However all the issues Gene raises are actively being addressed by SaaS vendors. Just as with installed applications, customers need to perform a robust due-diligence process on any prospective suppliers – with this process the "issues" can be avoided.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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