However, SaaS does not spare customers the need to ask vendors the same questions about service levels, costs and other issues that they would ask themselves if they were planning on-premise implementations. SaaS providers' answers to some of those questions may not be ideal because, for example, long-term costs are usually higher for SaaS than for on-premise computing.
Customers' needs can change for any number of reasons - such as growth, acquisitions or changes in the competitive landscape - so the right SaaS-versus-
Of the nine questions customers should ask about SaaS, seven also apply to on-premise deployment. However, the issues of changing needs prompt two more questions unique to SaaS. These involve the option of shifting from SaaS to on-premise implementation of the same application and vice versa, and the range of choices among hosting providers.
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Report Table of Contents:
The Ovum view
Question one: what are my requirements?
ERP is a special case
Question two: what's the service history?
The proof is in the details
Question three: how strong is the SLA?
Fallback procedures must be considered
Question four: how much can we customise the application?
Consider long-term needs
Question five: when does break-even come for SaaS versus on-premise?
Estimating on-premise costs can be complex
Question six: how will my costs increase if I scale up?
Pricing schemes vary
Question seven: how safe will my data be?
SAS 70 isn't the whole answer
Question eight: how easily can I switch between on-premise and SaaS?
Shifting needs call for flexibility
The code question
Question nine: am I able to choose my own hosting services provider?
Choice isn't universal
List of Tables
Table 1: SaaS, application hosting and on-premise computing - a comparison
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