Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions are gaining momentum when it comes to Web Content Management. As the benefits of SaaS solutions become increasingly evident and popular to end-users, vendors offering traditional on-premise solutions are moving “to the cloud” and blurring the definition of what SaaS really is.
While there are many solutions out there that call themselves “Cloud”, buyer-beware, many of these solutions are not truly SaaS. At one end of the cloud spectrum are true multi-tenant solutions that were purpose-built from the ground up as SaaS. At the other end of the spectrum are traditional on-premise solutions hosted online or deployed in a virtualized environment. But, just because a vendor provides web content management software that can be deployed in the cloud, doesn’t mean that all of the features and functionality will work in a virtualized environment. And while the vendor who hosts software in their own datacenter has the burden of owning the hardware and infrastructure, it doesn’t mean that their solution is a scalable SaaS solution with built in redundancies and robust infrastructure to accommodate traffic peaks.
SaaS is software that is deployed over the Internet. SaaS assumes all customers will run on the same version of the software at all times and they will access that software via the Internet. With SaaS, a provider licenses an application to customers either as a service on demand, or through a subscription, in a “pay-as-you-go” model and SaaS customers don’t own any of the hardware or software they are using; they simply pay a subscription fee to use the applications, hardware, bandwidth, or other services.
When evaluating whether your vendor’s Web Content Management solution is truly SaaS, ask yourself if it has the following attributes: