ASP or SaaS: what is better for treasury departments?

In a recent report by treasury solution provider Kyriba, called “SaaS vs. ASP: Beware of the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”, it is explored how ASP systems are less accessible than SaaS solutions and as a result, implementation of cloud technology has expanded exponentially.

Kyriba also explain the difference between ASP (Application Service Providers) and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) for the benefit of those who do not have an awareness of these terms. Alongside this, the study reports how many ASP systems disguise themselves as cloud technology, which is why it is important for corporations to understand the difference.

There are many wolves masquerading as sheep (i.e. ASP providers claiming they are SaaS) in the treasury software industry, and the software industry at large, so it is important to help you find the wolf in sheep’s clothing,” the report says.

Although ASPs are available on the Internet, they are installed systems hosted by a vendor or third party and are occasionally referred to as Hybrid or Private Cloud solutions by software providers. However, when SaaS or the Public Cloud was released, it was cheaper and systems were optimised further with better performance, better security and better service levels.

Kyriba emphasise that ASP needs to be installed in order to be used and manual daily configuration by employees is compulsory for operation, whereas SaaS systems utilise automatic updating software.

Data security is important for all vendors and Kyriba addresses the advantage of SaaS solutions being cheaper to implement as network security, encryption, access rights are invested in skilfully and can be spread across all clients in different countries.

The study also comments on the importance of Recovery Time Objective (RTO), which is how much time it will take to return to operating fully after a disruption and Recovery Point Objective (RPO), which is how much data you can lose while systems are down. These two concepts are important particularly when discussing service levels as software and data full redundancy and connectivity are minimum requirements for a treasury department.

The ASP providers, or as Kyriba describe them, wolves in sheep’s clothing, attempt to disillusion customers into thinking that they offer similar services as SaaS providers, according to this report. In this report, Kyriba are trying to encourage readers to talk to treasury technology experts and have an awareness of the differences. “By doing your research, which may include engaging experts in treasury technology, you can validate the distinctions and what those differences mean for you. Put yourself in the position to take full, not partial, advantage of the Internet,” the study says.


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