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Software as a Service (SaaS) is one of the fastest growing divisions within the cloud industry, but there is still a plethora of questions around the technology itself.

To assist developers on their migration to the cloud, we’ve compiled a list of FAQs around software hosting and Software as a Service technology in general. These queries have been compiled using our personal experience with customers, along with other blogs and articles online.

What’s the difference between Software as a Service and Cloud Computing?

software as a serviceCloud Computing is defined as ‘the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage and process data, rather than a local server or personal computer.’

The cloud can refer to anything that’s hosted remotely and delivered via the Internet, including software, which in this form of delivery is known as Software as a Service (SaaS). There are a number of services that can be provided through the cloud, such as ‘Recovery as a Service’, ‘Platform as a Service’ and ‘Software as a Service’.

How do I decide between a SaaS solution or a traditional solution, what are the benefits?

A traditional solution would comprise of shipping your software to site via disk, where the user or IT department would then install the application to the local machine. This in itself extends the sales process by a considerable amount of time, where with SaaS from the initial order the end user has access to the software within a matter of minutes. This is one of the many reasons end users are pioneering this method of software delivery.

Hosted software also provides an additional layer of intellectual property protection. With traditional software solutions the user would install the base code on a local machine, where it could theoretically be altered and replicated, but this is not the case with hosted software.

Another feature for both end users and developers is unified upgrades. With SaaS, developers can roll out unified software updates and patches, where the end user has prompt access to the latest software versions. For developers this ensures vulnerabilities are protected and eases the job of the support team in house and the customer’s IT department.

Should I partner with a cloud provider to deliver my Software?

Given today’s technology there’s no debate that cloud providers are capable of offering an efficient and highly available solution that can replicate (if not exceed) any internal IT infrastructure. One the other hand, hosting software on premise enables the developer to have full control over every aspect of the hosting process, but this is undoubtedly expensive and time consuming.

The answer to this question really comes down to your organisation’s needs. Does it have enough resource, experience and capital to purchase, maintain and upgrade its infrastructure to the required standards? Is this high level of control required? Would the organisation benefit from a partner as opposed to in-house ownership?

I’m thinking of partnering with a vendor, but what if they go out of business?

As hosting relationships are being merged every day, this is a legitimate concern, but the answer to the question will be dependent on the supplier themselves. They should, however have a reasonable answer and strategy in place should this ever occur. This should be discussed before any contracts are signed, where you can then judge whether this answer is acceptable to your business or not.

If you have any questions around infrastructure services or hosting your software online, the virtualDCS team is more than happy to help, simply contact us by filling out our enquiry form or by calling 03453888327. We also offer a free 30 day proof of concept for software hosting .