Software as a service (SaaS) is a type of software model, with a cloud delivery method. This means that applications are hosted by the software provider and accessed by the user over the Internet. It is the least hands on approach to software, which has subsequently made it the most popular, with the expectation that 85% of organisations will adopt a cloud first principle by 2025.
This cloud based delivery method eliminates the need for local installation and maintenance and provides many advantageous features, such as scalability,flexibility and that users will be able to access the software from any device.

The advantages are obvious but what’s the risk

Whilst typically SaaS solutions are advantageous to your business as with all technology, there is an element of risk to consider and plan for.

The largest issue with SaaS is security breaches caused by incorrect configuration. SaaS applications can be easy to configure, meaning business owners (or employees) may set up and deploy the application themselves. While the software may work, often it will be configured incorrectly and without all the necessary security precautions. Due to this, it is believed that by 2025, 99% of cloud breaches will be caused by bad configuration of SaaS.

Another issue with SaaS for organisations can be a lack of control. As the software vendor provides the hosting and maintenance as well as the application, they have full control of the function of the application as well as the pricing. Organisations cannot control these changes. For example, if the SaaS provider had a sudden price hike, an organisation would either have to find an alternative software or absorb the cost increase. Organisations also cannot control downtime and therefore can’t have full mitigation and recovery plans in place. If the software vendor has an issue which causes the application, or parts of the application, to be unavailable there is nothing an organisation can do other than wait for this to be fixed.

Is a SaaS application right for your business?

Control can also be lost with customisation options. SaaS applications are catered towards a broad range of customers, which may cause them to lack the levels of customisation and control that an organisation may require. Understanding the exact workflow and requirements of a business and then assessing if this is available within the software is critical to deciding if a SaaS platform is the correct technology to implement.

Is SaaS a risk worth taking?

Further security issues can also be caused by SaaS applications. As all data is hosted within the data storage of the software vendor, it is important to understand the data privacy requirements surrounding this.
Data security laws (such as GDPR) are critical and a legal requirement for all businesses to comply with. The of data a business processes and stores remains its responsibility, regardless of whether  it is stored onsite or in a cloud infrastructure. This is important to remember and consider when deciding if SaaS is the correct model to use and the provider to use for it.
No matter where your business is based on the globe, it is a requirement that all data owned, processed and held by it is physically located in a country with the same or stricter data privacy laws.
In the UK, currently, the legislation for data storage is the General Data Protection Legislation (GDPR), a European Union set of laws that protects the privacy and data rights of individuals.
Any data owned, processed or held by a UK operating business must be stored within a country that operates within the GDPR. This is important to understand and ensure that any SaaS application provider used has the facility to do this.

As SaaS continues to transform the software landscape, it is important to understand how to utilise this new technology effectively in your business. CTRL-S understand that every business has different requirements and will work with you to find the best overall package for your business and support you to implement it in the most efficient and effective way. Get in touch today to learn more.

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