The Pros and Cons of Software as a Service (SaaS)



Software as a Service (SaaS) has emerged as a prominent category within cloud computing, offering web-based software platforms accessible across all devices and operating systems with an internet connection. This blog explores the advantages and disadvantages of SaaS for businesses, shedding light on its cost-effectiveness, accessibility, scalability, maintenance benefits, and ease of deployment, while also delving into security concerns, lack of control, upgrade issues, and connectivity challenges. We also discuss the benefits of building and owning your own SaaS solution.

What is SaaS?

SaaS, a subset of cloud computing, is a web-based software delivery model that has become an industry standard worldwide. It encompasses an array of applications, spanning accounting, applicant tracking, CRM (Customer Relationship Management), document creation/editing and management, email management, and photo editing/design.

For businesses, there are clear advantages to buying these subscription-based applications — but the disadvantages or cons of SaaS should also be considered.

Advantages of SaaS

Advantages of SaaS graphic


SaaS simplifies cost management for businesses through predictable subscription fees. These fees cover the entire service spectrum, including hosting, support, upgrades, and more. Lower costs result from service providers spreading their expenses across a broad user base, granting smaller enterprises access to software that would otherwise be financially out of reach. Unlike on-site solutions with server maintenance and updates, SaaS removes these concerns.


In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses reevaluated work practices, promoting concepts like BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and remote work. SaaS aligns well with this shift as its cloud-based nature allows employees to work anywhere, anytime, on various devices and operating systems, as long as they have an internet connection. This flexibility enhances productivity while trimming expenses.


For small companies focused on growth, SaaS programs can be a way to accommodate current needs and budgets while considering expectations for the future. For many SaaS programs, pricing is determined on a per-user basis so companies only pay for the users or “seats” they need. There are no space constraints, enabling firms with fluctuating demands to expand or downsize efficiently without infrastructure worries.


One of SaaS's most appealing features is automatic access to patches and updates. Subscription-based providers routinely update licenses with new versions. Outdated tools are eliminated, and businesses no longer shoulder expenses related to licenses, hardware upgrades, or infrastructure. Additionally, service providers bear the responsibility of addressing bugs and errors.

Ease of Deployment

SaaS solutions are pre-existing and can be flexible in terms of features, so user needs can be addressed more easily. All you need is the system and access. Deployment time is minimal and once authentication is complete you have access to the software until the end of the subscription. This minimizes common delays resulting from often lengthy traditional software deployment.

In a traditional on-premises environment, it may be difficult to install new software across the entire organization, and delays and troubleshooting have a negative effect on time and employee productivity.

Third-Party SaaS Drawbacks: The Benefits of Owning Your Solution

Disadvantages of SaaS


The SaaS provider and the subscriber share responsibility for data security in a third-party SaaS product. The provider is primarily responsible for the security of the infrastructure and the application itself, while the subscriber is responsible for configuring the application's security settings, managing user access, and educating users about security practices. The need for mobility in the workplace presents a significant challenge to IT departments as they endeavor to secure mobile devices in remote locations. Endpoint security is vital to safeguard important data in an increasingly mobile world. Businesses need to accommodate this trend without opening themselves to malicious attacks. One solution is selecting a hybrid cloud option that allows you to keep the sensitive information at the business/subscriber end or use tools like multi-factor authentication to add another level of security.

Inadequate Control

With SaaS programs, the information used within those programs is stored in the SaaS vendor’s data center. Accordingly, a subscribing business has no way to control how their information is maintained and security is out of their hands. If servers go down or there is a hack, there’s not much that you can do to secure your information. Potentially, this puts data at risk, which may cost you the trust of your customers and your reputation in your industry. This fact starkly highlights the major advantage of on-site servers - information is mostly secure when stored in on-site servers with threats being limited to internal ones. But, if you don’t want to manage on-site servers for whatever reason or aren’t sure if your current IT environment is secure enough, then the SaaS model may be more secure for you. 


Throughout a program’s subscription, upgrades may be distributed which a business may not necessarily want or need due to the way SaaS programs work. Mandatory upgrades may even cause damage due to a lack of compatibility with existing older software that a company may need to use for whatever reason. When there is no way to turn off automatic updates or to defer updates at the business's discretion, issues may arise that are damaging to that business. So, this is another consideration when thinking about whether the SaaS model is right for you and your business.


SaaS programs are hosted online and usually require the internet to function. Service outages can significantly interrupt the ways in which you do business and can prevent deadlines from being met; bringing productivity to a halt. A slow internet connection can also cause problems. For example, when your service can’t meet the demands of your employees, it’s almost impossible to get anything done.

It’s important to note, however, that some SaaS programs do have offline features that allow for partial functionality when not connected to the internet. However, this is usually limited to core functions and may inhibit access to data or key features required during the workday.

Is SaaS Right for Your Business?

Owning your own SaaS solution can help any business that is looking for flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. Instead of being tethered to the limitations and uncertainties of third-party providers, a proprietary SaaS solution gives you autonomy. You have complete control over updates, features, and the overall direction of the software. This fosters a more intimate connection between the product and your specific business requirements, often resulting in a more tailored user experience. Additionally, financial predictability is enhanced; there's no need to worry about unexpected price hikes from providers. And let's not forget about branding: your owned solution can be completely customized to reflect your company's image, creating a more cohesive brand experience for users. In a world where data sovereignty and customization are paramount, owning your SaaS platform is a strategic move towards future-proofing your enterprise.

If you're contemplating SaaS adoption but are unsure of its suitability or cost-effectiveness, consider enlisting the expertise of a company like The SilverLogic (TSL) to help you determine whether a SaaS program is right for you, or if you would be better off building a custom solution, or a combination of the two options. 

The SilverLogic is a global organization of full-time software engineers, designers, and architects focused on developing and delivering products that help businesses grow. With a focus on client-driven, value-oriented solutions, TSL collaborates closely with clients to understand their needs, provide evidence-based recommendations, and deliver efficient and effective solutions. Whether SaaS, custom development, or a combination of both is the right choice, TSL can help bring your vision to life.

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