Deployment Options: On-Premise versus SaaS


Yet another unique and valuable aspect of Jetstream is the choice between a SaaS (Software as a Service) or on-premise deployment. We believe giving organizations this choice adds to the overall flexibility of our solutions and contributes to Apptricity’s ability to provide software that is adaptive to the organization’s processes and infrastructure. For an expert opinion I sat down with Apptricity’s Senior Security Officer, Billy Bonner:

Q: What are some of the factors that organizations consider when choosing between an on-premise or SaaS deployment?

A: Well, there are certain advantages with either side. Every company has their own circumstances. The good thing about Apptricity is we give them that choice so we can match not only how they like to manage their IT department, but also how their company runs as a whole. We don’t change the way they do business so they can use our software, we configure our software to work the way their company runs.

If you have an IT department that can manage things like the hardware and operating systems and the database, then often it’s better for customers to have it on-premise. We run on any kind of database, but if they want to link our software with a particular database like Oracle and they have an IT team with expertise in that specific database, they may want to have it on-premise because they truly have the expertise to manage it. All we have to do is give them another database and they’re off and running. There are companies like AT&T who use Oracle, and they have great expertise in Oracle so it made sense to put everything on-premise for them because they wanted to manage everything in Oracle. Wal-Mart has everything running in DB2 so they have the experts in DB2 on-site. If they truly have the expertise on site, then they can manipulate the data better than we can.

If they don’t have the expertise and don’t want to spend the money to train somebody to manage it then we can actually serve as your IT department. If it’s a SaaS deployment we have all the expertise for all levels here on site to do that for them, so it’s less of a training issue. You don’t have to care what operating system the application is running on or how the hardware works, all you care about is when you click, what you want comes up. Just because you have a database administrator, and somebody managing the OS and firewall, etc., they don’t know our application. They also don’t know how our database is structured. Even a DBA (Database Administrator) would have to be trained on our structure so that they would know how to manage it. In a SaaS environment we do all of that stuff for you.

Another decision point would be security requirements. Some organizations will not allow their data to be housed outside of their 4 walls. You can manage your own security if it’s on-premise because you have the ability to put it behind your own firewall and lock it down completely. So it’s just another layer of protection that there’s no way for us to provide.

Below are a few more things to consider when deciding whether to deploy and application on-premise or SaaS:

SaaS On-Premise
Cost Pay as you go, per user, per month, etc. Up-front capital costs for hardware, software licensing, training, etc.
Hardware  Hardware and software handled by provider Customer provides hardware and system platforms to run apps
Customization Limited customization Maximum customization capability
Control Provider manages systems and is entrusted with customer data Control of systems and data completely managed by customer
Security  Customer data kept on servers managed by provider  Customer data kept on site and managed by customer