Major Challenges Faced in IT firms in SaaS Adaption
IT firms are racing towards the future of cloud computing via SaaS to stay ahead in the market. However, there are some challenges in this venture that need to be taken care of.
SaaS (Software as a Service) has shaped the IT scenario for both end-users and vendors and upgraded this sector in a big way. Now it is no longer a dilemma for firms when it comes to implementation, especially after the COVID-19. This is because SaaS offers a multitude of benefits like minimal cost expenses, greater agility, better scalability, and higher speed of deployment. Yet SaaS applications have recently faced some unforeseen challenges too. As per a report by Computer World basically, SaaS faced three unique challenges viz.
More number of SaaS application:
Recently within a few years, the SaaS applications have spawned in the IT industry. As per Okta’s 2020 Businesses @ Work report, it was found that customers deploy an average of 88 apps. This is an increase of six percent from the 2019 statistics. About 10 percent of its customers have 200 or more apps in operation, thereby providing identity management platforms for small, midsize, and enterprise organizations.
Frank Della Rosa, research director for SaaS and cloud software at IDC says, “SaaS has democratized the application-buying decision by enabling line-of-business leads, and increasingly end users, to purchase software to get the job done. While this increases speed and agility, it creates governance and compliance challenges for IT.”
Since there might be many undiscovered applications existing in the business ecosystem, IT teams need to look up for automated tools that can help them in detecting applications in use and better manage security and compliance risks. According to IDC, leading vendors for this are VMware, Cisco, AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Microfocus. Furthermore, the firms may need to take a risk-based or triage mentality” to determine which applications are more crucial to the success of the business and have IT deploy those.
“IT will not be able to support the number of applications an organization is going to adopt in the form of SaaS,” says Kyle Davis, vice president, and analyst at Gartner. “Typically companies start with a handful of SaaS applications, and then that becomes a couple of dozen, then a couple hundred, and then thousands for larger organizations. That’s not how organizations have adopted software historically.”
Concerns for Data Security, Privacy, and Compliance:
With several SaaS applications, clients, and users, the issues about data security, privacy, and regulatory compliance related to using those applications also pose a serious hurdle. This got worsen during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the increase of remote workers and work from home clients.
“A large number of SaaS applications in use leaves many companies vulnerable to data leaks and cyberattacks,” Rosa explains. SaaS management tools can help IT implement policies and procedures that address the need for execution speed with the mandate to enforce data security, privacy, and compliance, he says. The major service providers in SaaS management are Blissfully, Zylo, G2 Track, and Better Cloud, he says.
He also suggests that IT can examine for suspicious activity and prevent inappropriate data sharing. In addition to that, files need to be scanned over a certain time to check for sensitive data leaks. Along with that, automated policies can be set for specific regulatory compliance laws. Other solutions include training of employees to comprehend their accountability and the importance of their role in the engagement and ongoing use of SaaS, ensuring the provision of appropriate policies. IT firms should sift across all possible options by vendors to see if the cyber-security norms are met or not. Quite a number of SaaS vendors offer their services via the major cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, so they are leveraging the security capabilities of those platforms, said Davis.
Pairing up with Cloud:
The integration of SaaS with cloud-based software is also a challenge that needs immediate attention to empower applications across various platforms to perform a task or support a business process. This is an issue because when firms try to fuse cloud-based applications, they are likely to face some constraints. It happens as importing new SaaS offerings or shifting from an on-premises to a SaaS application often requires redefining or rebuilding existing business processes. To mitigate this, IT firms need a detailed set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that allows users to integrate it into processes and workflows.
While leading SaaS providers are focusing the need for integration by making the most common integration scenarios as easy as possible to deliver, it will be inadequate for a typical enterprise to provide completely integrated user experiences and business processes. Therefore, IT firms must be attentive when assessing the integration abilities and interfaces of SaaS offerings. They may also need to build custom solutions to cater to their specific needs.