We all love SaaS, don’t we? It reduces the cost of software and removes the logistical issues of keeping it updated and patched. We love how it absolutely eliminates traditional licensing and DRM inconveniences, and we adore the lack of platform dependency. Oh yes, SaaS is fantastic … except when it isn’t!
When it comes down to it, compared to other new technologies, SaaS doesn’t pose a lot of problems; I’ll give you that. But, that doesn’t mean that there are no challenges. SaaS does have its issues and they need to be brought to light.
#1 – Mobile Issues
As stated earlier, platform independence is a big selling point of SaaS. But at the same time, it’s not yet completely perfected. This could be the fault of the SaaS provider, but more often than not, it ends up being the mobile tech provider.
The problem is that because most SaaS is handled over web, on PCs, laptops and other large display platforms, cross platform compatibility is necessary. But when it comes to mobile, not all browsers display data effectively. They have limited display areas… resulting in either the need to zoom and scroll around. You may even be forced to use a rather stripped down interface that may make your SaaS platform, and experience subpar.
As a result, many SaaS providers offer mobile apps that act as a filter, optimizing display and access to the web service . Cross platform design and mobile apps have now become a SaaS standard.
Everyone constantly touts iPhones and iPads as being so wonderful, but I wish people would wake up and smell the fail, honestly. Aside from their lockouts and inability to multitask, many mobile issues, that I see come up, relate to the inability to properly use SaaS on an iPad or iPhone.
#2 – Requiring an Always-On Connection
While some SaaS solutions have offered offline modes for certain services (Salesforce, for example), this poses a problem; it causes obvious synchronicity issues if changes are made to the offline data while the online data is live.
True SaaS requires a consistent connection in order to work. While wireless connections are widespread and available, they are not completely dependable. If you have to travel, and happen to be outside your coverage area or away from Wifi hotspots … you’re in trouble if you need access.
Avoiding this problem is pretty simple, though. Just know when and where you might lose connections, and pace your work along these lines.
#3 – Muddy Licensing
This problem is solved by simply being attentive. If you’re used to dealing with traditional software licensing agreements, then you may be a fish out of water with this kind of contract.
Since it’s not a one-time purchase, but rather a subscription, you have the challenge of watching out for premium hikes, addendums and modifications to rights and terms of service (often on a monthly basis). If you don’t look out for this, you may find you paid for more than you bargained for.
SaaS is a part of technological progress; and no new technology comes without its problems. I’ve outlined 3 SaaS problems and how to avoid them. Now that you are aware of the challenges you will be better able to overcome them, Good Luck!