Almost every business relies on software to operate, but most SMBs find lifetime licenses painfully expensive. What can you do to harness the power of software without breaking the bank? One good alternative is software as a service or SaaS. Read on to learn more.
What exactly is SaaS?
Microsoft defines it as, “Aa software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. It is sometimes referred to as ‘on-demand software’, and was formerly referred to as ‘software plus services’”. And Saas tands for “Software as a Service”
1.Reduced time to benefit
Different from the traditional model, in SaaS the software (application) is already installed and configured. The user has the advantage of provisioning the server for an instance in cloud and in a couple hours, they can have the application ready for use. This reduces the time spent in installation and configuration and can reduce the issues that can get in the way of the software deployment.
- Lower costs
SaaS has a differential regarding costs since it usually resides in a shared or multitenant environment where the hardware and software license costs are low compared with the traditional model.
Another advantage is that the customer base can be increased since it allows small and medium businesses (SMB) to use software that otherwise they would not use due to the high cost of a license.
Maintenance costs are reduced as well since the SaaS provider owns the environment and it is split among all customers that use that solution.
- Scalability and integration
Usually, SaaS solutions reside in cloud environments that are scalable and have integration with other SaaS offerings. Comparing with the traditional model, users do not have to buy another server or software. They only need to enable a new SaaS offering and, in terms of server capacity planning, the SaaS provider will own that.
- New releases (upgrades)
SaaS providers upgrade the solution and it becomes available for their customers. Costs and effort associated with upgrades and new releases are lower than the traditional model that usually forces the user to buy an upgrade package and install it, or pay for specialized services to get the environment upgraded.
- Easy to use and perform proof of concepts
SaaS offerings are easy to use since they already come with best practices and samples inside it. Users can do proof of concepts and test the software functionality or a new release feature in advance. Also, they can have more than one instance with different versions and do a smooth migration. Even for large environments, users can use SaaS offerings to test the software before buying it.
Will my data be safe?
One of the issues that make companies reluctant to switch to SaaS is data security. Who will own my data? Will my data be safe? What if the vendor goes out of business?
For your peace of mind and safety, when you’re outsourcing your software to a SaaS vendor, you have to sign a service level agreement (SLA). This should specify that you own the data and that the vendor is obliged to provide access to your data even if it goes bankrupt.
Data hosted by your SaaS vendor will be more secure than when it’s stored on your average SMB’s network. That’s because SaaS vendors have to undergo strict security audits, forcing them to invest more in security, backup technology, and maintenance than a typical SMB.
Should I switch to SaaS or stick to on-premises?
SaaS is an ideal solution for small and medium-sized businesses that are looking for a way to reduce upfront costs. But if your business is large or has complex processes, a traditional on-premises solution might be better since it offers more functionality and allows for full customization.
Still unsure about whether SaaS is the right answer for your organization? Want to know more about SaaS before making the transition? Call us today! Our experts are ready to answer any questions you may have about SaaS.