Five SaaS myths debunked

Like much shiny new tech, software-as-a-service has quickly gained traction, but analyst firm Gartner has warned about jumping on the bandwagon without taking a good look at the delivery model first.

"In recent years there has been a great deal of hype around SaaS," said Robert DeSisto, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, in a statement.

"As a result, a great number of assumptions have been made by users, some positive, some negative, and some more accurate than others. The concern is that some companies are actually deploying SaaS solutions, based on these false assumptions."

As budget constraints push some firms to consider the model, Gartner offers five SaaS assumptions to keep in mind. The myths listed aren't all bad news for the software model, but could be for your firm if you choose to deploy for the wrong reason, the analyst firm warned.

Myth One SaaS saves money

Gartner said that SaaS deployments are often cheaper in the first two years, because there is no initial capital investment. But it noted that over five years, the total cost of ownership might outweigh that of traditional software models, as the initial outlay has already been made.

Myth Two It's faster to deploy SaaS

While SaaS is indeed an easier and quicker way to rollout simple systems, that may not hold true for more complex solutions especially those being customised. According to Gartner, vendors may promise deployments in 30 days, but they can take over seven months in reality.

Myth Three SaaS is utility computing

Gartnery called this assumption "false in the vast majority of cases". Most SaaS users are not charged by use, but on a set contract, regardless of whether the software is used or not. "In some cases, the application lends itself to metered use for example, an e-commerce application may have pricing based on order transaction processes but for the most part, utility examples are in the minority," Gartner said.

Myth Four Integration is difficult

According to the analysts, SaaS can be integrated with office-based apps or data using batch synchronisation, real-time web services or mash-ups so it's no excuse not to use software-as-a-service.

Myth Five SaaS is best for basic systems

While Gartner noted that complicated end-to-end systems may not be best served via a SaaS model, the analyst firm said the ability to configure means highly customised applications are possible, especially under application platform as a service (APaas) systems.