Why SaaS Can Be Flat-Out Terrible

There are a lot of hype around software-as-a-service (SaaS) these days, and rightfully so, but at times it’s flat-out terrible. Let me clear up one thing: I am a fan of SaaS in most situations.

I think it is a viable option for smaller business to leverage more expensive programs that were once inaccessible. In fact, many programs are considering the SaaS route to reach a larger audience (Adobe Captivate I am looking at you). However, despite the positives to this model, it certainly isn’t perfect.

At this point I could list a multitude of the common grievances. I could talk about how this model is ultimately more expensive (long term) than other models, and how lack of ownership brings about its own issues. But I won’t (at least not for this post).

I’m going to bring it back to basics for a moment. The reason the SaaS model is terrible is that it often relies on something that is extremely unreliable (or at least unpredictable): the internet. There is nothing more frustrating than having to utilize a piece of software and/or functionality that depends on the internet in order to be used. Let’s face it, we haven’t figured out how to produce reliable connections or signals (and this always seems to be the case during critical moments).

Sometimes when I use a piece of software operating from the SaaS model, I don’t have time to battle connections. I’d much rather have the access on my desktop for easy access. Remember the good old days of buying software and installing it on your machine? 😉

If you haven’t guessed by now, I have just recently fell victim to “poor internet during a critical time”. Among the typical annoyances like lack of email, I am unable to use a specific piece of software, essentially dead in the water.

So, do I think SaaS is a good thing? Yes. Do I think it can be counter-productive? Yes. I hope that this industry continues to evolve.

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

3 Comments
  1. I totally agree Justin. The worst part of the trend is that companies like Adobe are, either by design or poor planning, depriving those who have bought their software in the past from access to the resources that, at least initially, came with the software but were available online. I own several suites of Adobe software and the Help resources, previously available online, now hit dead pages.

  2. Neo Anderson

    Instead of going all out at SaaS and why it is a terrible ideal you could have constructed your argument on the fact that connectivity to internet can ruin the SaaS model. Yes, its very well understood in the SaaS community that Connectivity is a major challenge and if any SaaS provider does not account for poor connectivity in his service offering then he may as well close his business. Thanks for reiterating the point to all SaaS providers… watch out for connectivity issues!

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