When searching for a secure document, messaging, or email solution, you’ll probably find yourself trying to decide which is right for you and your organization – a software as a service (SaaS) solution or a platform as a service (PaaS) solution. Or, as we like to ask, do you want to buy a pre-built service, or do you want use APIs (application programming interfaces) from a trusted secure exchange API company to build it into your existing or new apps, workflows, or portals?
In this blog, we’ll guide you through the process of how to decide which option is right for you. Starting with an overview of your options, who each option is best suited for, and the benefits of each. By the time you finish this blog, you should have a better understanding of which direction you should be heading.
SaaS vs. PaaS
Before we begin, it’s important to define exactly what a SaaS solution is vs. a PaaS solution. So, let’s get started.
A SaaS solution is defined by InfoWorld as “A software distribution model in which a service provider hosts applications for customers and makes them available to these customers via the internet.” In other words, these types of solutions are already pre-built for you – no coding experience is required. Traditionally, this is how most standard email encryption processes are offered. These pre-built solutions make it easy for any organization, large or small, to enable the secure exchange of things like messages and documents for their employees and customers.
PaaS solutions, on the other hand, are defined by InfoWorld as a “type of cloud computing offering in which a service provider delivers a platform to clients, enabling them to develop, run, and manage business applications without the need to build and maintain the infrastructure such software development processes typically require.” The solutions typically involve the use of APIs and other connectors to integrate certain functionalities into an existing or new system. Most often, developers and software engineers are the most likely to use these types of solutions.
The Benefits of a Pre-built, SaaS Solution for Secure Exchange
Now that you have a better understanding of what each type of solution is, it will be helpful to clearly lay out the benefits of each, starting with pre-built solutions for securely exchanging documents and messages.
These types of solutions are well suited for any business, from small startups to enterprises, who may not have the time, resources, or development team to build secure exchange into their solutions themselves. Instead, they’re looking for something that was already created for them, that can be easily implemented and maintained. Pre-built solutions check off each of these boxes while giving businesses peace of mind that any updates, bug fixes, or product enhancements will be handled by the service provider. Because these types of solutions are accessed via the internet, they can easily be used on desktop or mobile devices so you, your employees, and even customers can securely send and receive documents from the office, at home, or even the supermarket.
Not only that, but some pre-built offerings also give the option to integrate with existing or new systems. Think, single sign-on, toolbar plug-ins, or encryption seamlessly added into the backend of your existing email client, so your users don’t even notice it’s there, and more.
Overall, these pre-built solutions are great for those looking to accelerate their business processes and boost customer trust with more secure, trustworthy, and easy-to-use methods of communications. Because these solutions typically follow a monthly or annual pricing model, both large and small businesses can enjoy the benefits of pre-built secure exchange while only paying for the features they need.
The Benefits of PaaS Solutions & API Integrations for Secure Exchange
So, you’ve learned a little bit about ready-to-use pre-built solutions. But what if you already have your own application or maybe you’re building out a self-service portal and want to add secure messaging functionality directly within it. If you’re looking for a simple way to extend a secure experience in a truly native, natural, and integrated way across your apps, portals, and workflows, then the use of APIs and connectors might be better suited for you.
As compared to pre-built solutions, this method for implementing secure exchange requires coding and development experience, making it well-suited for software developers, vendors, or system integrators. Not to mention, utilizing APIs and connectors to add these secure functionalities into your systems is an especially attractive alternative when considering building a solution yourself. Rather than building out every feature yourself, you can take advantage of API integrations for some of the features that are not part of your business’ core competencies, such as secure messaging and document sending in this instance.
Let’s dive into that last point a little bit more. By utilizing APIs for secure exchange from a company that already specializes in message and document security, you’ll see faster development times and increased cost-savings than you would if you were to do it all yourself. This is largely due to the fact that by buying your APIs for tasks like managing users, provisioning, sending and receiving secure messages, and more, you eliminate the need to build this extensive ecosystem. What else? You can be confident that your new secure messaging functionalities were built on a robust platform by developers and engineers who have taken the time to ensure that the APIs you use will meet the third-party certifications you need to comply with regulations.
So, Which is Right for You?
Well, to be completely straightforward, it depends. Both options are solid choices, but it ultimately depends on your organization’s needs and resources. If you’re looking for a solution that requires minimal resources and maintenance on your end while still providing you with features that suit your organization’s needs, then a pre-built, SaaS solution would probably be better suited for you. On the other hand, if you’re a developer, software engineer, or system integrator and you want to add-in secure messaging functionalities to the app or portal that you’ve built, then using APIs and connectors would be ideal for you.
At DataMotion, we offer both of these options so you can choose the one which best fits your needs. Both our pre-built bundles and our API solutions were designed so you can have maximum security without compromising your experience. All of our options are scalable to your business needs and we offer a variety of integrations so you can add secure exchange in the systems you want in the way that’s best for you. Try them out for yourself by testing out one of our pre-built bundles or our secure message center APIs now.