You can (and should) evaluate SaaS platforms to understand how each option meets your requirements. And you may get close to 100% of what you’re looking for. But, you’ll never have total control of the SaaS platform’s product roadmap. You can always give feedback, but it’s not guaranteed to give you the desired features.
You have 100% of the control over how software functions when you build it in-house. Period. However, with that control comes a great deal of responsibility. You make ALL the decisions. If you’ve ever built a custom home, you know the unique fatigue of choosing a plethora of details in a short time.
The SaaS platform of your choice owns all costs associated with building and maintenance and charges you a subscription fee for ongoing access. Because the SaaS vendor gains efficiencies across a large customer base, they can often charge a lower amount than you would pay to support a one-off application.
The software builder (that’s you) bears the entire cost burden of homegrown software. That includes paying for the initial buildout, ongoing support, bug fixes, upgrades, platform migrations, and keeping up with software industry trends. All of these costs can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions!).
SaaS vendors handle all the maintenance behind the scenes and roll the cost into your subscription fee. Their staff will help launch the platform at your organization, manage maintenance going forward, and push out product upgrades.
And the SaaS company has already done it hundreds of times, so they come equipped with best practices based on a wealth of direct experience.
You’re on the hook for all maintenance related to your newly-built software. That means managing the launch, bug resolution, user training, password setup, compliance with industry standards, and building new functionality.
And all that maintenance likely requires increased bandwidth or even extra staff.