Installing software is becoming passe'. Increasingly people are finding what they want out there on servers on the internet. But how can you be sure your data is safe on some server in Bangladesh?
"The issues raised when software applications are delivered as a service are not new, as many companies must allow data to reside or travel outside their premises for various reasons. SaaS vendors are now working proactively with their customers to assure data protection, and the customers are reaping the business benefits."
This excellent article explains SaaS, SAS70 (the government regulation that ensures your data is safe) and how they interact to your benefit.
Some of Google's applications are SAS70 and some are not. They've acquired a bunch of companies and one of them, Postini, is SAS70 compliant but the rest appear not to be.