Understanding The Differences Between SaaS And Hosted
Understanding The Differences Between SaaS And Hosted

In the ever-evolving world of cloud computing, two commonly used terms are Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and hosted software. While both have their place in the technology landscape, they serve different purposes and come with their own set of advantages and drawbacks. In this blog, we’ll delve into the distinctions between SaaS and hosted software to help you make an informed choice when selecting an application provider.

What Is SaaS?

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), often referred to as software on demand, is a cloud-based model that enables users to access applications and data from any internet-enabled device. In this model, vendors host and manage the servers, databases, and code that constitute the software. SaaS applications are accessible to multiple users, with each paying a monthly subscription fee for access. Some prominent examples of SaaS applications include Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

Pros of SaaS:

  • Affordable upfront costs
  • Minimal risk of system failure
  • Accessible from any internet-enabled device
  • User-friendly
  • No need for manual software updates

Cons of SaaS:

  • Security challenges
  • Contractual obligations
  • Limited control over the application, as it’s managed by the provider

What Is Hosted Software?

Hosted software, in contrast to SaaS, involves the purchase and ownership of the software. Customers typically make an upfront payment for the software and are responsible for its installation from a hosting center. In this model, each customer gets their own software instances, servers, and databases. Hosted software is known for its high degree of customization and flexibility. Unlike SaaS, it doesn’t automatically receive updates, allowing customers to control when and how they update their software.

Data stored in hosted software is regularly backed up, ensuring a certain level of security. However, the reliability of the software may depend on the quality of the hardware used during installation.

Pros of Hosted Software:

  • Data is securely stored with regular backups
  • Software ownership, purchased only once
  • Offers a wide range of features and customizable options

Cons of Hosted Software:

  • Inaccessible if the internet connection fails
  • Integrating with other software may require additional installations and support
  • Continuous IT maintenance is necessary
  • Ongoing costs for power, cooling, and hosting are borne by the organization

Key Differences Between SaaS And Hosted Software

When deciding between SaaS and hosted software, consider the following criteria:

  1. Support Model: With hosted software, customers typically receive minimal assistance, while SaaS providers offer various methods for optimizing business use on the platform.
  2. Pricing Model: SaaS is usually paid on a monthly subscription basis, making it more budget-friendly, while hosted software requires a significant upfront investment.
  3. Learning Curve: Hosted software can have a steeper learning curve due to complex configurations, whereas SaaS prioritizes ease of use with a user-friendly interface.


The choice between SaaS and hosted software depends on your organization’s specific needs, budget, and IT capabilities. SaaS offers affordability and ease of use, making it suitable for many users. Hosted software provides more control and customization options, which can be beneficial for larger organizations with specific requirements. Make an informed decision based on your unique circumstances and goals.

For law enforcement professionals seeking cutting-edge software solutions, CPI OpenFox continues to lead the way with its reliable, optimized, and highly secure law enforcement systems and software. The OpenFox product suite is one of the most comprehensive and robust technology platforms in the industry. To learn more about the OpenFox suite and how it can benefit your organization, contact the experts at CPI OpenFox for a consultation.

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