SaaS and Security

June 7, 2007

Phil from Xero makes a great point about online security, and how more people are coming around the the fact that “online” is safer.

Having run quite a few big money transactional sites over the years I would absolutely have to concur.   Any SaaS vendor that has any wits about them knows that protection of data and security is massive.  It’s key.  You screw that up, you lose your customers’ trust.  And it’s game over.

I know the lengths that you need to go to to protect customer data, at all levels of the stack.  It’s an expensive business.  It’s hard to maintain.  It’s just hard, full stop.  To try and do this level of security yourself just ain’t gonna happen.  So when you think about it, opting for a reputable SaaS offering will most likely provide you more security (and generally more uptime).

It baffles me how much people still resist SaaS, because “it’s not in our data centre”.  Running your own data centre and maintaining security and availability sure comes with a lot of hassle.  And I’m pretty confident that hassle is not your core business.  So why bust a gut?

3 Responses to “SaaS and Security”

  1. benkepes Says:

    Sure Dan – but generally security for a smaller SME (which most of us in NZ are) does not involve data centres and huge complexity – it involves a cd writer, a few USB keys and maybe uploading to ftp. So yes SaaS provides more security than a inhouse run data centre but is this an issue for most Xero customers?

    Having said that their target market is bigger than New Zealand so maybe its a valid issue for the UK and US SME market???

  2. ‘Control’ – that’s normally the problem. People think they’re losing control when they ‘give’ their info. Also (for large-er orgs) the IT section loses a lot of influence and control … they don’t like that.

    Ben – why have the hassle of “a CD writer, a few USB keys and uploading to ftp”? That’s just scale of hassle, surely. Once online NO need for any of that be it a USB key or an IT section called Data Control and Tranfer

  3. benkepes Says:

    mike – it comes down to ease of use and price. Xero is great but it can’t compete feature for feature with MYOB. When you think about it the migration to SaaS for a business that has been running a client/server accounting package for 15 years is significant and far outweighs any hassle caused by backups. Add to that the fact that it’s a piece of cake to automate backup procedures and you’ve got a compelling argument. I would advise any new startup that does not require high level inventory control to go with SaaS once he monthly rate comes down (which – in contrast with other comments I’ve seen – it must)

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