While software as a service is fine and dandy and sounds oh so sweet, I do caution you to move slowly and carefully before moving MUST have operations hosted by someone else. Salesforce.com has had yet another outage which took its customers down for a period of time on Thursday affecting its North American customers.
Think about this. You have 3 offices across the country, all of them are using software as a service for critical operations and your host goes down. What does that mean – YOUR BUSINESS IS AT A STAND STILL. I’m not saying that traditional client/service software does not have problems, of course it does. However, the big difference is that if one company goes down it does not affect tons of others. Software as a service is like a power grid. Remember when the East coast had a black-out. It wasn’t one home but entire states.
In a similar way, if one company is providing you service and they go down, all your operations relying on their service go down as well.
Is there a solution – no? There’s no company, I don’t think that can have perfect service and ALL companies will have problems. I guess the key is to really find out, with your solution provider what steps does the application service provider have to guarantee uptime as much as possible.