Pros:

  • Minimal upfront costs, no hardware to maintain.
  • No software integration to configure.
  • No in-house IT requirements.
  • Universal access through web browsers and mobile devices.
  • Pay only for what you use – eliminate the need to equip (and maintain) every computer, licenses are shared across the enterprise.
  • Software vendors have greater application experience than in-house IT staff.
  • Software is kept up to date, available and managed as part of subscription – upgrades and enhancements are tested and delivered more frequently.
  • Service level agreement guarantees a certain level of service and up time, which internal resources may not be able to match.
  • Data is stored off site and mirrored on the Cloud.

Cons:

  • Reliance on an external vendor
  • Limited input into functionality. End users generally accept the application as provided since customized solutions can be expensive.
  • Harder to change vendors.  Once data is set up, exporting difficult or impossible thus making a transition difficult.  Many will put up with in inferior services rather than go through the learning/technology curve of an alternative solution.
  • Vendor could go out of business.  Not many ASPs (Application Service Providers) survived the dot com bust; how will your vendor survive the next bubble?

Source: UnderstandingEcommerce

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