Saas challenges

In SA the main Saas obstacles are:

Off-shoring of personal data where a global saas provide is used. This raises privacy issues, not wanting to fall foul of legislation, fears of foreign governments having access to personal data, eg the Patriot Act.

Is my data secure? High profile failures like Sony have contributed to this. Even though internal security risks are greater.

Bandwidth still not as cheap and reliably available as developed countries. This gives the impression that SA is not ready for Saas because of bandwidth issues.

Vendor lock-in: no open standards yet so this is a real concern. Even when vendors state that customers can cancel the service and take the data there are real challenges with migrating from one service to another

Depending on the target market and service type monthly service fees can be perceived as high when comparing one saas provider to another e.g. MS CRM online vs salesforce.com vs zoho, etc.

Overhyping and confusing nature of the term cloud computing. Saas is confused with the old ASP model and Iaas is confused with self-provisioned hosting. Again more from a business user perspective, I would say, self-service, quick and easy to deploy, predictable and transparent costs and scales easily whether 10 or 10 000 users.

Agreed that it should related to the new delivery model, you mentioned. The confusion comes in when some vendors jump on the bandwagon and claim a cloud offering when what they’re offering is really just hosting or the old ASP model. The hype problem is around marketing cloud computing as a silver bullet for all IT ills which is disingenuous. Would love to see an agenda which describes cloud computing in business terms, describes the delivery model and then proceeds to list several business issues and how cloud computing can help.

Zaheer Ismail

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