Together, Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) have drastically altered how businesses implement and use technology. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of the evolution.
They Let Businesses Invest in Technologies through Off-Site Means
Many companies do not have the space to invest in on-site equipment that allows them to be scalable. Because SaaS and IaaS products exist in the cloud, they permit companies to purchase access to services that do not require them to be concerned with building layouts, equipment breakdowns or having to hire on-site staff to maintain the equipment.
Therefore, SaaS and IaaS have shown businesses leaders that even if they work in tiny office buildings, it’s still possible to prepare their companies for the future.
Companies are not Sufficiently Securing Cloud Technologies
One of the potential downsides of the changing relationship between businesses and cloud-based technologies is that companies are transitioning to them too fast and not coupling the integrations with proper security measures. A poll of IT decision makers about SaaS found 64 percent of them admitted to adopting the technology too fast to keep it secured.
Sometimes, those IT experts may be treating cloud-based solutions identically to on-premise options concerning security, and that’s not a wise approach to take. Moreover, they may not be setting aside enough of their budgets to cover security measures. The low overhead costs of cloud technologies make them attractive to many business professionals, but services that work in the cloud may require additional security-related expenditures.
Less Stress Associated with Data Backups and Downtime
The service providers typically offering SaaS, IaaS and other cloud technologies take responsibility if things go wrong regarding data retrieval and storage. Many offer guaranteed uptime statistics and have substantially more resources to deal with service failures than individual businesses do.
It’s also common for cloud services to provide the option for incremental backups. That means if businesses need to roll back to the data stored at an earlier time due to a problem that happened on-site, they can do that with a simple phone call. They could even log into an interface to confirm the change.
On-site failures related to data collection can drastically disrupt business operations. However, when businesses have most of their data stored in the cloud, such instances are less likely to last for prolonged periods or have significant adverse effects on those clients. The fact that service providers handle data backup and restoration is one of the numerous reasons why SaaS and other cloud-based services offer good value for money.
A Lack of Precedents for Legal Issues
Due to the newness of SaaS and IaaS technologies and the fact that they exist in the cloud, there have been some uncertainties about sales tax and usage rights. Although local tax authorities have issued advisory opinions on these matters, courts have yet to make rulings that decisively set precedents.
Cloud technologies bring about legal concerns that didn’t cross business owners’ minds in previous eras. Many of those executives realize it’s wise to hire legal counsel to get specialized advice about how to handle the law-related issues stemming from cloud-based services. However, the legal ambiguity may discourage some business leaders from adopting these technologies at all, or at least make them more likely than not to delay implementation.
Higher-Than Average Pricing Flexibility
One of the issues associated with traditional business upgrades that necessitate on-site installations and handling is that the companies that go through with them are generally locked into using the equipment as it is even if problems arise.
However, cloud service providers appeal to their customer bases by highlighting flexible pricing arrangements and offerings that are not as common in other sectors of business. For example, besides subscription plans, there are pay-as-you-go options based on usage.
Having choices makes it easy for business leaders to determine how cloud computing fits into their budgets without the fear of being locked into contracts that don’t align with company goals. Also, the flexibility caters to tech-timid executives who are excited about the possibilities of moving to a cloud-based system but still have some trepidation that prevents them from making large-scale shifts.
Many providers allow for service upgrades or downgrades on a per-month basis without penalizing users. Therefore, it’s possible for businesses to ramp up dependence on cloud computing gradually instead of doing it all at once.
These are just some of the ways that SaaS and IaaS services have changed how businesses use technology to meet needs, including satisfying their customers and other stakeholders. As cloud services continue to improve, people will notice other differences, most of which make it simpler for technology providers to help clients get closer to goals.
Author: Nathan Sykes is a business and tech enthusiast and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. You can find more posts from him on Finding an Outlet.