Businesses are increasingly moving to using “Software as a Service” (“SaaS”), also known as “cloud computing” (Atlantic.net explanation), away from the traditional installation of software on-premise at a company’s data center, or on desktops, and maintained by the company’s IT department.
There are many advantages to SaaS computing, among them:
- The software is always kept at the most current version by the software author: no need for an IT department to install and maintain it in the client organization
- Software and data are accessible online to everywhere
- Company data is centrally stored: everything is up to date and not in silos.
However, sometimes things can go wrong with SaaS services in a big way:
(17 May 2019, CNBC)
(17 May 2019, ZD Net)
“The outage lasted over 15 hours and dozens of Salesforce instances across North America and Europe were listed on the outage notice.” (Geekwire) During the outage, clients who rely on Salesforce for their daily tasks were unable to work in the tool.
It is also unclear how many Salesforce partner companies — for example third-parties using Salesforce as their core software development platform — and their customers were also affected.
In any case, it was an event with significant effects on many companies and thousands of employees.
Issues at scale versus contained
To avoid such a catastrophic outage outside their control, many companies prefer to keep their software and data on-premise on their own servers, within their own IT departments. That is a natural reaction, though it is not automatically safer: the Salesforce issue was caused by human error, which can happen in any IT system. Mitigating IT security issues and facilitating recovery are based on the human processes a company has in place, whether an internal IT department or a 3rd-party service provider.
That said, this Salesforce example showed how one error in a SaaS system used to supply many clients with the same software, even unconnected companies, can take them all down at the same time. The same could happen in the case of a security breach. The scale is good for the service provider, but in this case not good for the customers.
Deciding SaaS or On-premise for your organization
SaaS services make headlines these days, however it is not the right solution for every customer, nor for every customer context. ITD sees this clearly in the telecom industry. Generally, we find that for large MNOs and Towercos, their internal IT department can handle maintenance and issues effectively, while ensuring control over their data and security; these tend to prefer on-premise installation. Smaller companies/countries, with limited IT budget and expertise are often better served by SaaS.
As MNO’s and Towercos consider using a SaaS model or having software & data on-premise, consider how important the following points are to your organization, and how well you can handle them with your own staff:
- Software maintenance
- Responsiveness to issues
ITD works with clients with varying capacities to cover the above areas. To serve all these variations optimally, ITD offers ClickOnSite as an on-premise installation at the client, as full SaaS, or as a hybrid. For each client the decision about which model to use is made collaboratively through evaluation of their needs and capabilities to reach the best solution for them.
If you are struggling to efficiently manage your tower site infrastructure and assets let us show you how ClickOnSite will make your operations much smoother, and lower your costs.