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The Importance of Data Ownership in a World of Proprietary Saas

JCM-dataownership

During the last decade, there has been a definitive migration from a software license strategy to a subscription-based integration service that delivers the software across the Internet. This service is better known as SaaS or Software as a Service.

All types of software companies have transitioned to this model, including Microsoft and Adobe, discovering that it provides better user experiences, facilitates software updates, and fights piracy. Both startup software providers and open source have also realized the benefits of using the SaaS model.

How the SaaS Model Works

A SaaS vendor provides and maintains the software while giving the user authorized access to the software through the Internet. There are typically two versions of this process. 

First, the software can be provided and hosted with common base software that operates separately as part of a dedicated environment. Second, the software can be provided and hosted in a multitenant environment where there is one software layer and hosting environment that is separated for each customer’s use, such as integration options. 

Data Ownership and Control

Yet, SaaS has also created a dilemma when it comes to the data used and stored as part of those SaaS platforms. It’s no longer a question of software ownership but of data ownership. As data so freely changes hands over the Internet, there are more questions about how the data is used or misused. 

The data that flows across the SaaS platform presents an incredible opportunity to understand the user and create the type of personalized experiences that now define customer expectations. At the same time, there are questions about privacy, how the data is being used, and the freedom to take data away from one platform and start using another rather than face vendor lock-in. 

While a user tends to have limited ownership rights over the software that makes up the SaaS solution, they do want to own all the data they put into, created, and changed through that SaaS solution. This includes many types of data associated with the software use, including click-through data, session data, profile data, and overall usage data. Therefore, users want to retain ownership of these types of data because of the valuable insights it offers to their business.  

Joomla and Data Ownership

Joomla provides an open-source environment that allows users to create and manage their own extensions while also retaining ownership of all data created, used, and managed. 

Joomla offers four extension types, including components, modules, plugins, and templates, which offer a way to format and oversee data. You can designate whether these extensions are to use on the front end of your website or blog or on the back end, offering more ways to control the data that you get through using the Joomla platform.

That means that from dynamic content on your website to administration tools on the backend, you, as the website owner, retain ownership of the data that passes through that site or those tools. 

In return, you’ll be able to expand the amount of data and insights through a wide range of extensions. For example, my developer team has been able to add data acquisition features, such as forums, guest books, image galleries, statistics, and more. 

Additionally, we have used Joomla modules that enable data to be displayed in the front end for further data collection and control. Plugins also have allowed us to add specific content and functionality to our website. Here are a few other tips for safeguarding your company's data

To ensure that your site is also compliant in regards to your users’ preferences for their data, Joomla also can help you to conduct an audit to ensure your site is GDPR compliant. Even if your business is in the United States, you may have customers or prospects all over the world that fall under the jurisdiction of GDPR. Therefore, it’s good to take advantage of Joomla’s compliance audit template to assess the GDPR compliance level of your Joomla extensions and data management processes. 

At every level, it’s become critical to think about the data you collect, how you manage it, and the preferences and expectations of everyone connected to that data. Therefore, you also need to ensure that you partner with a SaaS website development provider provides clear direction on data ownership. 

Copyright

© Joomla

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Leadership Interviews: Elisa Foltyn
Meet a Joomler: Richard Fath
 

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