Pros and cons of Open source vis a vis SaaS for an SMB

The key factors that influence an SMB’s choice of CRM, whether SaaS or open source, are expense, time taken to go live, extent of customization, dependability of the software, vendor’s standing in the market, and data security.

A short-term CRM deployment is achieved in a more cost-effective manner with SaaS, where the per-user cost for certain services can be as low as $ 10. The costs, however, climb as the number of users and duration of deployment increases. In such a scenario, open source is often more cost-effective. The costs associated with open-source include software licenses, servers, and trained staff.

SaaS is a better alternative for those who wish to only gain an understanding of CRM before committing to a full-fledged deployment as a SaaS deployment can be completed in as less than two days. Updates too can be made available at one go to all customers. With respect to customization, a SaaS customer may be required to learn a proprietary programming language and take help from offshore programming specialists to implement the customization.

Open source offers a greater degree of flexibility in terms of customization. The open source CRM softwares support most of the well-known programming languages. Open source vendors maintain a constantly updated library of code modules that one can choose as a customization. Saas offers a high degree of reliability at low costs and scores over open source in this respect. Open source offers greater security of data; Saas vendors do offer guarantees of data security but oftentimes its not enough for those who are in possession of highly sensitive data and would prefer to retain ownership of data.

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