Awhile back, I posted a question about whether "cloud computing" or SaaS (software as a service) would ever be robust enough to be usable in automation. I still don't know the answer, entirely, but I would like to share with you the response I got from Siamak Farah, CEO of www.infostreet.com.
From Siamak Farah, CEO, InfoStreet (www.infostreet.com) - makers of StreetSmart IT SaaS software
“Every decision is made by weighing the benefits vs. the costs (or threats.) When the decision is made on a new idea, the "unknown factor" adds to the threat level, often overshadowing the benefits. The more conservative the organization, the wider the shadow casts, sometimes outright stifling the decision.
For this very reason, people may over look the benefits of Software as a Service, as to most it is a relatively new phenomenon. The perceived threats are normally, security (my data is out there, not here) and multi-tenancy (where a number of users use the same system.)
One has to just look at examples of other industries where the concepts are no longer novel and see how these have been overcome.
For instance, having your data close to you is not necessarily safer. This is a kin to having your money under your mattress and considering it safer than the bank. The bank has professional staff working around the clock, charged with protecting your assets, and armed with the latest and greatest technology. The bank may be centralized and perceived as a mecca for thieves, but chances of your money being lost under your mattress is an order of magnitude higher. In the case of data banks, the data is backed up in an alternate location, adding to your protection.
In the case of multi-tenancy, one has to look at cellular telephone technology. You have a private hand-set, your own private number, yet the moment that call leaves your hand-set, you are using a multi-tenant infrastructure. Had it not been for many users using the same cell infrastructure, this technology would not have been affordable or possible for anyone. Now, thanks to multi-tenancy, you are reaping the benefits, yet feel private and secure on every call. The same economies of scale apply to Software as a Service.
Once these two major threats are shed, the benefits of Software as a Service shine. The fact, that:
• you can access your solutions from anywhere you have access to the internet.
• it is infinitely scalable, add users, delete users, without worrying about hardware purchases or downsizing
• streamlines operations, increases efficiency and reduces costs
• most SaaS systems have upfront costs and you can pay as you go.