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Continuity Central wrote an article on ‘Software as a Service’ will have business continuity impacts. Their views seem very one-sided to me:

From a business continuity perspective, the move to SaaS changes the vulnerability profile for software applications. When applications are run in-house day to day vulnerabilities are limited to the availability of the organisation’s own computing infrastructure. Under a SaaS environment these vulnerabilities remain[1] but, in addition, applications availability becomes dependent on the provider’s computing and delivery infrastructure[2]. A further issue also arises; that of the financial viability of the provider company, especially where special software is provided by a smaller supplier. If the SaaS goes out of business, the software being provided will become permanently unavailable; possibly with no prior notice whatsoever[3].

[1] A SaaS offering will not be dependent at all on the company’s in-house infrastructure because the service can be accessed from anywhere, including Internet cafes and home broadband access.

[2] It is correct that you become dependent on the SaaS provider’s computing an delivery infrastructure. Most SaaS providers however are hosting their services in facilities with advanced business continuity support, for example multiple UPS power supplies with power generator backup, redundant servers with mirrored backups, off-site backups, etc. Most organisations do not have that level of business continuity support in their internal data centres.

[3] Like dealing with any company you have to do your due diligence before engaging with a SaaS provider. Make sure that they have mechanisms in place that will allow you to access all of your data even if the company should shut down. In some case you may even be able to get access to their source code in the event that the company shuts down.

At e-LM.com we provide you with the following business continuity services:

  • Secure server facility
  • Denial of Service Protection (DDOS)
  • UPS power backup
  • diesel generator backup power
  • 24/7 network monitoring
  • mirrored storage backups
  • XML backup file of all data stored on the server on request

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