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Noam Tamarkin

SaaS challenge - Who's data is it anyway?

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Following my last few posts I want to raise the most important question - Who owns the SaaS application data.

In the on-premise application, it was simple. The customer was the owner from start to end and without any wish to share it.

In SaaS it becomes more complicated. Isn't that always like that?

The customer or end user creates and maintains the data. Normally they have some ownership on the data.
There is also the data secrecy, that strengthen the customer's ownership.

So, is the customer the full owner?

Well, most SaaS provider also dream about the day that they will sell some aggregated data from their customer's database.
It could be sales analysis by state, product type popularity within a specific industry and more.
Actually, Google does it today with Gmail. Just read their EULA.
In my opinion, the data is owned fully by the customer. If the customers agrees to share their data at any form, they should get a discount or some profit share program.
And from the SaaS provider stand point - it is risky enough to place the data assets in your hands, do not rush to exploit that.
Try to gain your customer's trust before you profit on their data.

I hope I raise some eyebrows,
Yours again,


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This is why I would NEVER, NEVER trust my data on any server "in the cloud". NEVER. I dont know where people's brains are these days.

By your reasoning, banks should be able to sell info about who you paid for what by check. SaaS - SERVICE. I'm buying a service, including privacy, not renting my data. All too often its a means for extortion - "we have your data - we'll gladly sell you a new report or extract" so that you can USE YOUR OWN data. Thats on par with the ethics of credit card companies - now that we've got you locked in, SQUEEZE every penny out. Bad idea, bad ethics, bad decision.

Don't let your SaaS provider put your data in jail.



SaaS -- It's a contract.
If you're buying a service, don't you have a responsibility to ensure that your organization's needs are met? If so, then you'll have already spelled out those needs, assuming you've done a good job of contract management and considered your real requirements...
Likewise, you can be sure the SaaS provider will be looking to meet THEIR organization's goals, whether that be compensation via dollars, goodwill or access to data-mined information.
In any event, it's a contract, intended to benefit BOTH parties. If you don't like the terms, negotiate 'em to meet your needs, or pick a more willing partner for SaaS.

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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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