SaaS vs. Installed Database Solution

When choosing a project management software solution, many find themselves caught up in the debate between Saas (Software as a Service) and an Installed database solution. To figure out which is right for your office, you need to answer the following questions:

  • Is the database solution right for the size of your group? How many users will be on the platform?
  • Do you manage a lot of variable information in spreadsheets?
  • Do you have challenges with versioning on documents?
  • What is your skill set and the available skills in your group?
  • Do you need a customized database solution or will off-the-shelf work?
  • What is your budget?

The first four of these questions help determine how badly you need either an Saas or an Installed database solution. If your spreadsheets are cluttered and inconsistent, you have people who can’t get access to critical information and you have issues keeping track of data, then you’re probably a good candidate for new solution.

The last two questions about customization and budget are where the Saas vs. Installed database solution conversation gets interesting.

The SaaS Database Solution

Many people think that if you want a customized solution, then you have to build it and install it yourself. The truth is that QuickBase Applications, which fall into the SaaS database category, have completely independent data structures. In fact, QuickBase gives you...

  • Anytime, anywhere access to the database.
  • No systems to maintain and upgrade.
  • Great collaboration – inside and outside of your firewall.
  • The flexibility to customize your database solution to best fit your needs.
  • As for dollars and cents, there are SaaS database solutions to fit just about any budget.

The Installed Database Solution Fix

If you’re looking for more of a quick-fix, one-shot purchase, then an Installed database solution might be right for you. You’ll likely save some time during implementation and the one-time purchase may save you some upfront money. But you won’t get the flexibility, scalability or customizability an SaaS database solution provides. And because the off-the-shelf Installed solutions are so rigid, you’ll probably need to purchase an updated version every year, just to keep up with your workflow changes.

Of course, there’s more to implementing a database solution than just deciding between SaaS and Installed. You need to make sure that everyone buys into the new application and that the transition is a smooth one. By getting your team involved early in the process, you’ll get their commitment to your solution. As a group with a single focus in mind, you can evaluate the pros and cons of SaaS and Installed database software and make a decision that’s best for everyone.