Guest Post from Pat Yu* of Accero. We are happy to make Mr. Yu’s insights available to our readers as they are important considerations for companies considering alternative data and systems management strategies. Enjoy this post: 

To host or not to host . . . That’s ultimately the critical question when it comes to major internal system deployments, such as human capital management (HCM) solutions. To help you move toward a smart, strategic decision, here is a high-level overview of each model:


Still widely used by most companies, licensed software delivery often provides user’s more control. You purchase a license, install the software and use your internal resources to manage and configure or customize the solution. When companies purchase licenses for a major software solution, they are ultimately responsible for all aspects of application management, including: installing upgrades, troubleshooting issues and hardware maintenance.


Hosting is most often provided today in the form of Software as a Service, or SaaS. In this model, the vendor hosts the solution and users access it via the web. One of the key benefits of selecting a hosted model, besides the scalability and convenience of 24×7 web access, is the fact that the software provider is responsible for:

  • Managing both the software and hardware components of the application
  • Network issues such as redundancy, data backup and disaster recovery planning
  • Managing the data center or centers that deliver the application
  • Upgrading the software automatically for customers on a regular schedule

A checklist for decision makers

Hosting in and of itself is simply a delivery model. A software application must meet your business requirements; how it is delivered (licensed vs. SaaS) may be part of your requirement, but it should not be the primary factor. Follow the checklist below to help your organization determine which solution best fits your needs:

  • Clearly define your business requirements
  • Inventory solution providers (licensed and hosted)
  • Evaluate systems to ensure they meet your high priority requirements
  • Consider growth strategies and make sure the solution will scale to match
  • Prepare a minimum four-year cost analysis to evaluate cost of ownership (this should include the cost to host the solution in house if you are considering a traditional license – and the IT resources needed to manage it)
  • Review implementation timeframe (SaaS is often faster to deploy)
  • Consider other costs – IT resources, hardware, software, time, etc.

*Pat Yu is the Director of Product Development at Accero, a Payroll, Human Resources and Human Capital Management software and service provider. Visit or call 800.429.2674.

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Photo of Joseph J. Lazzarotti Joseph J. Lazzarotti

Joseph J. Lazzarotti is a principal in the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He founded and currently co-leads the firm’s Privacy, Data and Cybersecurity practice group, edits the firm’s Privacy Blog, and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP)…

Joseph J. Lazzarotti is a principal in the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He founded and currently co-leads the firm’s Privacy, Data and Cybersecurity practice group, edits the firm’s Privacy Blog, and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) with the International Association of Privacy Professionals. Trained as an employee benefits lawyer, focused on compliance, Joe also is a member of the firm’s Employee Benefits practice group.

In short, his practice focuses on the matrix of laws governing the privacy, security, and management of data, as well as the impact and regulation of social media. He also counsels companies on compliance, fiduciary, taxation, and administrative matters with respect to employee benefit plans.

Privacy and cybersecurity experience – Joe counsels multinational, national and regional companies in all industries on the broad array of laws, regulations, best practices, and preventive safeguards. The following are examples of areas of focus in his practice:

  • Advising health care providers, business associates, and group health plan sponsors concerning HIPAA/HITECH compliance, including risk assessments, policies and procedures, incident response plan development, vendor assessment and management programs, and training.
  • Coached hundreds of companies through the investigation, remediation, notification, and overall response to data breaches of all kinds – PHI, PII, payment card, etc.
  • Helping organizations address questions about the application, implementation, and overall compliance with European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and, in particular, its implications in the U.S., together with preparing for the California Consumer Privacy Act.
  • Working with organizations to develop and implement video, audio, and data-driven monitoring and surveillance programs. For instance, in the transportation and related industries, Joe has worked with numerous clients on fleet management programs involving the use of telematics, dash-cams, event data recorders (EDR), and related technologies. He also has advised many clients in the use of biometrics including with regard to consent, data security, and retention issues under BIPA and other laws.
  • Assisting clients with growing state data security mandates to safeguard personal information, including steering clients through detailed risk assessments and converting those assessments into practical “best practice” risk management solutions, including written information security programs (WISPs). Related work includes compliance advice concerning FTC Act, Regulation S-P, GLBA, and New York Reg. 500.
  • Advising clients about best practices for electronic communications, including in social media, as well as when communicating under a “bring your own device” (BYOD) or “company owned personally enabled device” (COPE) environment.
  • Conducting various levels of privacy and data security training for executives and employees
  • Supports organizations through mergers, acquisitions, and reorganizations with regard to the handling of employee and customer data, and the safeguarding of that data during the transaction.
  • Representing organizations in matters involving inquiries into privacy and data security compliance before federal and state agencies including the HHS Office of Civil Rights, Federal Trade Commission, and various state Attorneys General.

Benefits counseling experience – Joe’s work in the benefits counseling area covers many areas of employee benefits law. Below are some examples of that work:

  • As part of the Firm’s Health Care Reform Team, he advises employers and plan sponsors regarding the establishment, administration and operation of fully insured and self-funded health and welfare plans to comply with ERISA, IRC, ACA/PPACA, HIPAA, COBRA, ADA, GINA, and other related laws.
  • Guiding clients through the selection of plan service providers, along with negotiating service agreements with vendors to address plan compliance and operations, while leveraging data security experience to ensure plan data is safeguarded.
  • Counsels plan sponsors on day-to-day compliance and administrative issues affecting plans.
  • Assists in the design and drafting of benefit plan documents, including severance and fringe benefit plans.
  • Advises plan sponsors concerning employee benefit plan operation, administration and correcting errors in operation.

Joe speaks and writes regularly on current employee benefits and data privacy and cybersecurity topics and his work has been published in leading business and legal journals and media outlets, such as The Washington Post, Inside Counsel, Bloomberg, The National Law Journal, Financial Times, Business Insurance, HR Magazine and NPR, as well as the ABA Journal, The American Lawyer, Law360, Bender’s Labor and Employment Bulletin, the Australian Privacy Law Bulletin and the Privacy, and Data Security Law Journal.

Joe served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Laura Denvir Stith on the Missouri Court of Appeals.