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SaaS Integration - What's the point?

In this guide we aim to give you a clearer idea as to why you should be using SaaS, of course it's not all bliss so we'll outline some of it's setbacks too.

Why you should consider SaaS

  • No need for hardware. With SaaS there is no need for physical hardware in the office.  No hardware leads to more space and more importantly in this day and age less energy consumption. Having a server elsewhere also means you don't have to worry about it, which leads nicely onto the next point...
  • Support. If something goes wrong with the server, you don't have to go through the hassle of getting it repaired, the data centre will have a whole host of fully trained technicians on sight and ready to roll. Upgrading the server is also a non-issue. All updates will be handled by the provider leaving you free from worry. Another major plus is the added benefit of having trained professionals at the ready, you'll no longer need to send your staff on learning courses to ready them for challenging tasks such as the handling of cross platform backups.
  • Freedom. Many companies like the idea of being able to access their data from anywhere in the world with an internet connection and a web browser. Using SaaS frees you from the use of remote desktop applications or worrying about your company's firewall, it just works.
  • Scaling. SaaS scales with ease, with the touch of a button you can easily upgrade your resources or allowances without the hassle of downtime or hardware upgrades.

Drawbacks

Of course, it's easy to get carried away with all these positives but as with anything there are always things to look out for.

  • Downtime. It's highly unlikely that any provider is able to guarantee 100% uptime but certain companies such as RackSpace offer a 99.9% Uptime policy. You can often settle on an uptime limit in an SLA (see our other guide for a more detailed explanation).
  • Dependant on others. This is a flipside to the positive 'Support', while having others to do the work for you is always nice, relying on others to get urgent issues resolved in an acceptable time can often be frustrating. When you have no control over what's being done, how do you know that it's being done at all?
  • Security. This is an issue that can't be overlooked. Before you start any SaaS partnership you must always check that the provider is capable to securely hold your data. You have to be sure that you trust your provider, if you don't then it's definitely not worth the risk.
As you can see SaaS, just like anything, has its ups and it's downs. It's important to draft out what exactly it is that you are looking for and make sure that your chosen provider is able to cater for your every need. Don't overlook the importance of an SLA, more of which can be found in our guide.