Software as a Service: What is SaaS? Some Examples and Advantages

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN

5 Comments

  1. You only need to download software for OneDrive for Operating Systems pre Windows 8, (as Windows 8 has OneDrive built into the OS) or for other OS’s and devices.

    I’m also puzzled why you have an image of Adobe’s Creative Cloud, with no mention of it in this article. With Creative Cloud, you still have to download the software, although syncing artwork and preferences can be done via the cloud, this doesn’t make it SaaS.

    SaaS has also been around since the 60’s (although back then it was known as centralized hosting) but it’s proven to be a pain in the butt when internet connections fail or the hosted sites go down rendering it useless. Google is testament to this with Gmail and their apps being unreachable after periods of downtime, which is a major disadvantage if you or your company needs to rely on web based software or services.

  2. Ed

    Your right Michael, I’d much rather have the software running off my system / pc, first security issues with the cloud outweigh having to have local storage to store your work on. Second being that if your internet connection / service goes down then what good is the cloud going to do you?

  3. I agree Ed. I love the cloud when it works. 10 years ago when the NLR (LambdaRail) were carrying out speed tests, they had many cloud services and even then they stated that anything future cloud based would have major problems if there was ever any downtime without redundancy or legacy applications.

    10 years on and they were correct and yet nothing has been implemented as a redundancy. If OneDrive or Google Services or even Office Online fail and you have important files saved online only, you’re kind of screwed, especially if you only use Office or Email online and don’t bother with local storage. At least locally you can still work, write emails (though if there is any downtime, they will be sent when the connection is restored) and get things done.

    I remember Google going down for a whole afternoon at the height of them promoting Google Business Solutions and people all over the world suffered, share prices dropped and productivity severely declined for those who used online solutions only.

    So I’m with you. I’d rather keep my desktop apps than suffer any downtime.

  4. Ed

    Bulk storage HDD’s 1TB and up are so cheap today why would one even think about storing their work or serving their apps from the cloud? It makes no sense, and better yet people ACTUALLY pay for cloud services! You can buy a decent sized HDD for what one would pay for a years worth of cloud services …… at least you would have something TANGIBLE for what you spent your money on … LMAO
    IMO, the cloud is just a catastrophe waiting to happen. What’s going to happen when hackers and others with ill intent learn how to inject malware, viruses and malicious code into cloud services and apps?
    Don’t get me wrong, I use some cloud services, mainly for temporary storage but I never put anything into the cloud that I cannot afford to lose.

  5. Actually, the main use for the cloud is for off site storage. You can use all the NAS boxes in the world and have Petabytes of storage, but if you have a fire, a flood, hardware failure or theft then you lose everything. So, as I mentioned above, the cloud is useful when it works well.

    Hackers have already used ransomeware in the cloud. Feedly the RSS reader service was held at ransom when Cryptolocker and GameOver Zues (which is back again) was waging war (before the governments seized them) and if you used any 3rd party app like NextGen Reader for Windows 8 Modern UI, then this app is utterly useless as it uses Feedly’s API. And NexGEN Reader is a paid for app too!

    So it’s hit and miss. For me, I use the cloud for portable and off site storage and I won’t rely on it for the use of apps, especially in a business environment until 100% redundancy can be achieved.

    There is also now Cloud Insurance. For a small fee, you can insure your data.Still, not great if you happen to lose data, but may be handy to cover your butt in business via indemnity.

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