Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Shared web services can cost your business

One of the great things about the Internet and the advent of web services (shared software as a service or SaaS) is the ability for businesses to jump into new technologies with relatively low barriers for entry.

For many large enterprises, deploying and managing hardware servers inside a data center for new services desired by a particular department is a death sentence for the project.  The teams are understaffed and overwhelmed supporting the myriad systems already deployed.  There is no operational expertise in-house for the new services.  For small companies, such deployments are often cost prohibitive because they lack the technical skills and resources to make it a success.

Purchasing web services has solved these problems very well.  Departments in enterprises and small businesses can essentially rent time on a large shared service, often paying for resources consumed (transactional) or users per month (subscription).  The cost of entry is low, and deployment tends to be quick.  It's a real benefit.

However, when the service offered is a core competency, using third party services is often undesirable and more costly than the price tag may suggest.  Web contracting and electronic signature services fit this bill for many companies.  Most companies realize that it is a trap to store key documents and contracts and allow customer interactions to be performed by a third-party vendor.  Of course, those service providers that offer "free tiers" tend to be the worst.  Instead of monetizing their purported service, you, their customer, is the actual product and they monetize you and your interactions with your customers instead.

With Yozons Open eSignForms, you have ultimate flexibility and complete brand control.  Each customer deployment is always an independent system: independent database and independent web application.  Even our lowest cost "shared hosting" only shares the physical server, but each customer running on that hardware has its own independent web application and database, keeping its users away from those of all other customers we service. 

Most SaaS vendors put millions of unrelated customers into a single huge system.  This makes migration away much harder, and of course creates a huge target for hackers who boast about big exploits and cause millions of user records to be stolen and sold on the black market.

Over time, the cost of paying a vendor to handle your contracting, your documents and the interactions with your customers, employees and business partners grows substantially.  Losing touch with your customers by using a third-party service is a cost few estimate correctly. 

Many companies initially jump on the SaaS bandwagon, giving them a leg up on the competition and providing services quickly at a low cost of entry.  But these companies ultimately ditch those early efforts and deploy their own services, which turns out to be more profitable for them and allows them to control their customer relationships and control their important business documents.

With Yozons Open eSignForms, you can easily migrate from shared hosting, but with fully independent customer systems, to private hosting, to bringing it all in-house.  You maintain full control over your independent system no matter how it's deployed, and that flexibility is what motivates companies to eventually abandon their forays into shared SaaS and instead take care of their own business themselves.


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