We use cookies and other similar technologies (Cookies) to enhance your experience and to provide you with relevant content and ads. By using our website, you are agreeing to the use of Cookies. You can change your settings at any time. Cookie Policy.

Editor's note: This is an interview that Krissi Danielsson conducted with David Rice, author of "Geekonomics: The Real Cost of Insecure Software."

What's your take on the commonly cited security concern of companies that fear SaaS due to having their data hosted outside their four walls?



Companies are rightly concerned for a number of reasons. The irony of SaaS is this: companies are moving to SaaS in large part because of the expense of securing, managing, and maintaining low-quality, dysfunctional, insecure software. But while the financial model has changed under SaaS, the security and quality concerns of "bad" software have not. In fact, security and quality concerns will most likely intensify.

First, the software engineering techniques used for single-instance software (like SaaS) are the same techniques used for multi-instance software (like word processors or operating systems). The engineering model has not changed. More importantly, neither have the market incentives for software manufacturers. Without proper incentives for making better software, software manufacturers simply will not. This means software manufactured under a SaaS model most likely is not any better than previous models. This has consequences.

Features sell. Period. Under the SaaS model, software manufacturers add features incrementally and on-demand to satisfy client requests as well as remain competitive. This sounds like a good thing to both buyers and manufacturers. It is not, at least not under the current market circumstances.

The market incentive for software manufacturers is to add as many features as possible because features are part of the beauty contest among software applications. Security is not. This means SaaS applications are guaranteed to have a continuous and relentless stream of ad-hoc features (over an above the rate at which features are added to their multi-instance cousins) each of which add more complexity to the application and the likelihood that one or more of those features contains a bug (at best) or a vulnerability (at worst).

Features then, are the distinguishing element among software manufacturers, SaaS or otherwise. So low-quality, feature-rich software tends to dominate, driving higher-quality, secure software from the market. There is really no such thing as a "final release" in SaaS, making SaaS a particularly dangerous form of software. Features, and therefore potential vulnerabilities, tend to dominate. As such, buyers will never be free from acting as crash test dummies for the manufacturer (and paying handsomely for the privilege).

-1-

1  2  3  4  

   Next Page

Explore Our Topics

  • EDITOR'S BRIEFING
  • Virtual Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Roundtables

BPM in Action

March 10, 2011

The sixth annual BPM in Action 2011 Virtual Conference will explore cutting-edge market developments in BPM and describe how to leverage them for improved business operation and performance. More

View All Virtual Conferences

Smart Case Management: Why It's So Smart.

Date:Nov 05, 2009
Time:12:00 PM ET- (17:00 GMT)

REGISTER TODAY!

Date:Oct 29, 2009
Time:15:00 PM ET- (19:00 GMT)

REGISTER TODAY!
View All Roundtables
  • Research Library
  • Podcasts
  • News

Joe McKendrick: Part II of II: Designing Evolve-ability into SOA and IT Systems

In part two of Joe McKendrick's recent podcast with Miko Matsumura, chief strategist for Software AG, they talk about how SOA and IT systems need to change and grow and adapt with the organization around it.

Listen Now

Phil Wainewright: Helping Brands Engage with Social Media

Phil Wainewright interviews David Vap, VP of products at RightNow Technologies, and finds out how sharing best practices can help businesses understand how best to engage with online communities.

Listen Now

Peter Schooff: Making Every IT Dollar Result in a Desired Business Outcome: Scott Hebner of IBM Rati

Scott Hebner, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for IBM Rational, discusses a topic on the top of every company's mind today: getting the most from IT investments.

Listen Now

Jessica Ann Mola: Where Will BI Fit In? Lyndsay Wise Explains

In BI, this tough economy and the increasing role of Web 2.0 and MDM are certainly topics on people's minds today. WiseAnalytics' Lyndsay Wise addresses each of them in this informative podcast.

Listen Now

Dennis Byron: Talking with...Deepak Singh of BPM Provider Adeptia

Deepak Singh, President and CTO of Adeptia, joins ebizQ's Dennis Byron in a podcast that gets its hand around the trend of industry-specific BPM.

Listen Now
More Podcasts
  • Most Popular
  • Quick Guide
  • Most Discussed

Quick Guide: What is BPM?

Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Event Processing?

Smart event processing can help your company run smarter and faster. This comprehensive guide helps you research the basics of complex event processing (CEP) and learn how to get started on the right foot with your CEP project using EDA, RFID, SOA, SCADA and other relevant technologies. Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Enterprise 2.0?

A lot of people are talking about Enterprise 2.0 as being the business application of Web 2.0 technology. However, there's still some debate on exactly what this technology entails, how it applies to today's business models, and which components bring true value. Some use the term Enterprise 2.0 exclusively to describe the use of social networking technologies in the enterprise, while others use it to describe a web economy platform, or the technological framework behind such a platform. Still others say that Enterprise 2.0 is all of these things. Learn More