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Open for Business

Noam Tamarkin

Software as a Service (SaaS) for large enterprise - the future

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You all must have heard about Software as a Service (SaaS). This is the trend in business applications and together with cloud computing it offers a full virtualization of infrastructure and applications.

At the moment the leading SaaS applications are either small applications aimed for any size of business (e.g. Salesforce.com) or applications for small business (e.g. NetSuite).

The obvious next step is to move large enterprise to SaaS. I doubt that. Why?

It is actually very simple and buried inside our normal behavior. It is the issue of data security and privacy.

The larger the company, it has more secrets to keep. The argument against that is that the SaaS providers will offer high level of security.

I would like to tackle this with a simple daily example: Gmail by Google. Here are parts of the Privacy terms.

I marked the interesting parts in bold and underscore:

Personal information

  • You need a Google Account to access Gmail. Google asks for some personal information when you create a Google Account, including your alternate contact information and a password, which is used to protect your account from unauthorized access. A Google Account allows you to access many of our services that require registration.
  • Gmail stores, processes and maintains your messages, contact lists and other data related to your account in order to provide the service to you.
  • When you use Gmail, Google's servers automatically record certain information about your use of Gmail. Similar to other web services, Google records information such as account activity (including storage usage, number of log-ins), data displayed or clicked on (including UI elements, ads, links); and other log information (including browser type, IP-address, date and time of access, cookie ID, and referrer URL).
Uses

  • Google maintains and processes your Gmail account and its contents to provide the Gmail service to you and to improve our services. The Gmail service includes relevant advertising and related links based on the IP address, content of messages and other information related to your use of Gmail.
  • Google's computers process the information in your messages for various purposes, including formatting and displaying the information to you, delivering advertisements and related links, preventing unsolicited bulk email (spam), backing up your messages, and other purposes relating to offering you Gmail.
  • Google may send you information related to your Gmail account or other Google services.
I think it is clear. Google does not promise not to read our private emails. Whatever the purpose of the content processing is, it is problematic if you have real secrets.

So
you will say: I do not have any secrets, that is fine with me. So, let me add one more Google service to my argument: Picasa.

Yo
u will not worry if your dog's pictures or your recent trip to Rome (I envy you) will be shared from their. Would you put your more intimate pictures there? After reading the privacy terms?! I do not think so!

Stay clear of fast flying trends,

Noam

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In this blog, Noam Tamarkin provides ideas for improving and better integrating your applications.

Noam Tamarkin

Senior software architect and CTO. Experience in solution design and implementation. Holds the ability to understand complex business processes and translate them to technology. Expert in Enterprise applications, integration, SOA, SaaS. Experienced in project management, technical infrastructure, procurement and manufacturing.

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