We’ve all read about the Windows Genuine Advantage server outage. Dvorak used the event to raise concerns about SaaS.

“All this proves is that these Web-based applications cannot be trusted.”

I am by far the biggest supporter of SaaS, but I do see it as a market inevitability.

The WGA outage proves that when you don’t design a system for five or six 9’s uptime, you won’t magically get that level of availability. As web apps move from “good enough” to “business critical”, these types of outages will be outliers.

Here’s another Dvorak conclusion:

“What is often lost in individual analyses of how to proceed with your data-processing needs is the concept of “being at the mercy of a single company.” “

If you work for a medium to large enterprise, it’s very likely that ADP, one of the oldest SaaS providers in the world, handles your payroll. Your company is very likely at the “mercy of a single company, ADP, when it comes to processing your bi-weekly salary and paying you on time”. And yet businesses choose to use ADP.
Staying with the ADP example: I find it somewhat amusing that “fear of data loss or risk of your data being mistakenly viewed by a competitor in a multi-tenant SaaS environment” are inhibitors to broader SaaS adoption. Isn’t your employee’s salary & privacy concerns just as important as your customer lists or sales records? Sadly, maybe the answer is no…..

In any case, SaaS isn’t going anywhere. It’s been here for decades. A few SaaS-related outages simply make the case for more mainframes! ;-)