Software as a Service (Saas) - Why it Could Make Sense for Your Business

Friday, 21 August 2020

An increasing number of organisations are migrating from traditional on-premise (on-prem) software to cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. This article explores some reasons behind this trend and explains why it could be the right move for your company.

Introduction

Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions have been steadily gaining popularity, and it’s a trend that’s set to continue. According to IDC, worldwide spending on cloud-based services such as SaaS is set to double from $229 billion in 2019 to nearly $500 billion in 2023—with SaaS accounting for the largest share of that spend.

Despite this surge in popularity, many companies still feel more comfortable with traditional on-premise (on-prem) software. That’s fine; there’s no right or wrong answer here. The important thing is to understand both options and pick the right one for your business. But if you’re delaying SaaS adoption because you’re worried it’s an unknown technology, then consider that G-Suite, Office 365, iCloud, Mail Chimp and even Netflix are all SaaS solutions. You’re more than likely to be using at least one of them already either at work or at home benefits explained

SaaS can lower your IT infrastructure costs

You don’t need to buy a dedicated server to run a SaaS solution. That means less upfront expenditure on hardware and lower reoccurring IT maintenance bills. Servers suitable for SME use start around £1500, and top-end prices for enterprise-level servers can approach £70,000 per unit. So, no matter what size your business is, you’ll be saving a significant proportion of your capital by selecting a SaaS solution. Moving to SaaS could cut also reduce your energy bills. According to ZDNet some companies spend over £580.00 per year just powering and cooling a single server.

Scalability for business growth

SaaS solutions generally offer more scalability than on-prem software—allowing you to bolt on additional functionality or modules as your business evolves. Asolvi’s SaaS contracts, for example, enable you to switch between our different software offerings during your contract and add more users at any stage.

Data availability for a mobile workforce

SaaS solutions are easy to access in multiple locations and on various devices—all without compatibility or data loss worries. They also run well in your office, via Wi-Fi or on mobile connections in the field or at other remote locations.

Our SaaS solutions also connect to a dedicated mobile phone app that provides critical offline functionality. This allows field operatives to complete, check and sign-off on their work even if they do not have an Internet connection or mobile phone signal.

Secure, and easy-to-manage remote access has always been vital for distributed teams. But it's critical now as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of people to work from home. SaaS solutions remove many of the complex infrastructure requirements that are common with on-prem software and make homeworking a straightforward, productive and sustainable option.

An end to IT administration headaches (and associated costs)

SaaS solutions free up more time for businesses to focus on their core competencies. A SaaS solution will typically automate and centrally manage all the time-consuming daily software management tasks including system updates, virus protection and patch management. This additional, automated functionality is the ‘service’ part of Software as a Service. It means businesses can operate their IT infrastructure with a much leaner and less specialised support team—prioritising recruitment budgets for customer-facing roles.

Some businesses will justify the additional costs and resources needed for direct software management because it gives them complete control and autonomy over their data and IT infrastructure. They may not be comfortable relinquishing control, and their clients may feel the same way too. Health sector, government agency and security companies, for example, face specific challenges when it comes to client engagement and processing customer data. They may feel more reticent about SaaS deployments and require bespoke solutions that cater specifically for their clients and customers before they will make the switch.

Cloud-based storage, backup and recovery

We've talked a lot about the cloud-based nature of SaaS solutions. But let’s pause here for a moment; have you ever wondered where your data goes when it goes ‘into the cloud’? It resides in your SaaS provider's datacentre, and you access it via a secure web connection.

Many companies worry about entrusting their data to a SaaS solution provider and allowing it to reside in their datacentres. This is usually due to concerns over resiliency, backup and recoverability—with some businesses believing it’s safer to manage their own data. However, SaaS solution providers take ownership of the arduous and expensive backup and disaster processes that are a hallmark of on-prem software. At Asolvi, for example, our customers’ data is stored across our network of Tier 4 datacentres. Each has built-in redundancy to protect servers, storage network links and cooling equipment and to mitigate against the effects of power outages or hardware failures.

Conclusion

Cloud-based SaaS solutions have the potential to transform businesses. They can help organisations in their quest for a more affordable, more manageable IT infrastructure that can be supported by a smaller—and less specialist—IT team. SaaS solutions can also automate many of the time-consuming daily software maintenance tasks while offering data protection and disaster recovery support—as well as the flexibility and agility to scale the software to align with growth.