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Data & Integrations Technology & Architecture

The Pitfalls of Self-Hosting

Going it alone or partnering with an expert 

In today’s digital landscape, businesses face a critical decision when it comes to managing their software infrastructure: self-hosting or opting for Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. While self-hosting offers the promise of greater control and autonomy, it comes with many challenges and risks that organizations must carefully consider.  

When making decisions about managing software infrastructure, businesses must consider many factors that extend beyond technical specifications. These decisions will shape a company’s operations and have far-reaching implications for efficiency, security, and scalability.  

Here are several key considerations that should weigh into the decision-making process:

  • Cost – Make sure you consider the costs associated with self-hosting monitoring and maintaining its infrastructure. Whether hosted on a private cloud or on-premises servers, the expenses associated with hardware and software licenses can quickly add up. Another thing to watch out for is what part of your infrastructure needs to be diverted away from core business priorities which could have a negative effect on resources and innovation.
  • Maintenance – Ongoing upkeep of internal self-hosting solutions can be a daunting proposition. Drain on internal resources must be considered when handling product upgrades and emergency protocols associated with disaster recovery testing. These tasks require teams to be meticulous and experts in system administration.
  • Timely Updates – The frequency of product updates highlights the difference between self-hosting and SaaS solutions. When a software update rolls out with new features, SaaS companies automate the system behind the scenes. Often, a self-hosted organization may lag and miss critical advancements that could stifle innovation and competitiveness. 
  • Security – Managing your own servers and software exposes an organization to various security risks, including hacking attempts, malware issues and data breaches.  Without dedicated security resources, it’s easy for a company to overlook vulnerabilities leading to potential security events. 
  • Support – The ability to have external experts parachute in when issues arise is extremely important in the debate between self-hosting and SaaS. Since self-hosting companies often lack the needed expertise to troubleshoot and resolve issues, they may experience downtimes and delays in support response times. SaaS companies have access to virtual diagnoses and resolution, which leads to high levels of end-user satisfaction.
  • Scalability – Self-hosted solutions can present organizations with roadblocks when the infrastructure cannot accommodate demands on the system, as well as not being elastic enough to scale with the needs of the company. Without resources and dedicated teams, scaling self-hosted solutions can become cost-prohibitive.
  • Integration – SaaS solutions offer a wide array of tools to support integration with other software and systems; increasing functionality and streamlining workflows. When an organization chooses to self-host, they will be limiting their access to ready-built innovation leading to internal resource drains. 

In contrast, SaaS solutions, like StarCompliance, offer a powerful alternative by offloading the burden of infrastructure management to third-party providers. By leveraging the scalability and security of cloud platforms, businesses can focus their efforts on innovation and value creation rather than infrastructure maintenance.  

The decision between self-hosting and a third-party partnership hinges on many factors, including organizational priorities, technical expertise, budget constraints, and regulatory considerations. While self-hosting may offer unparalleled control for some, the complexity and risks involved may outweigh the benefits for others. In an era defined by digital transformation and rapid technological advancement, businesses must carefully evaluate their options and adopt strategies that align with their long-term goals and objectives. 

Star understands the importance of these decisions and offers a variety of in-house and cloud-based hosting options that integrate seamlessly into their SaaS employee compliance software and platform solutions. Still struggling to decide whether to self-host or not, download your free copy of Star’s Host or Not to Host Infographic