The marketplace drives SaaS product definition, application, and evolution. SaaS products presume a flexible architecture and often depend on product releases that are designed to be used “as is” to meet general business needs and not specific organizations’ needs. The commercial product life cycle is usually much shorter than the equivalent military product life cycle.

Projects should consider the potential availability of a suitable replacement and/or alternative items throughout the long, software development life cycle, and should monitor the commercial marketplace through market research activities and ongoing alignment of business and technical processes. This necessary activity imposes additional costs, schedules, and performance risks for which the acquisition community should plan. SaaS products should be evaluated to meet all performance and reliability requirements during all environmental conditions and service life requirements specified by the intended application requirements documents.

A Project Manager and development staff will still have to go thru the normal test and evaluation process to verify that a SaaS product can still meet the requirements of the overall system.  Just because a SaaS solution is preferred,  in some cases it will not meet the intended goals of the system.

The primary concern areas of using SaaS are:

    • Is the SaaS component durable enough to meet service life requirements
    • Are there proprietary components in the SaaS products
    • Lack of vendor willingness to provide all design specifications due to intellectual property theft concerns.
    • Types of the licensing agreements
    • Can enough SaaS products be supplied for sustainment
    • How difficult is it to find replaceable parks for the SaaS product
    • Are there enough qualified vendors for the SaaS product
    • Does the SaaS product require modifications and how much

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