One of the most exciting business technology solutions that has emerged in the past decade is Software as a Service, or SaaS. SaaS is a branch of cloud computing in which customers pay a monthly subscription that allows them to use software and applications that are hosted elsewhere (in a service provider’s datacenter). Some examples of SaaS are Salesforce, Quickbooks, HootSuite, Carbonite, and Adobe Creative Cloud and its applications such as Photoshop and Illustrator. SaaS is sure to be one of the most important investments that you can make in your technology in the coming year.
SaaS is becoming the new normal when it comes to using software, especially for businesses. Small, medium, and large businesses will see the benefits from using some of these software packages. But there are also some downsides. We will lay out the pros and cons of the SaaS model so you can decide for yourself.
It saves money. Who doesn’t like the sound of that? With SaaS you don’t have to purchase physical hardware or software. That could cost a lot of money up front and it usually only allows you to install it on one system. With SaaS, you pay as you go and you only pay for what you need. If you decide to get rid of a computer, you simply cancel the subscription. You don’t have to pay each time you need to update - it’s usually free.
It allows for easy collaboration. Since SaaS works in the cloud, many employees will have access to the documents. Instead of trading different versions of documents back and forth, employees can collaborate and have a much more productive workflow.
It is easily accessible from the office, at home, or on the road. All you need is a device and an internet connection and you (and your employees) will be able to work from anywhere. Also, files can be saved online and can be accessed anywhere in the world.
It allows for scalability. If you need to allow a new employee to use Office 365, for example, it’s easy. You don’t have to invest in more server capacity or a new software license for that employee.
There is easy integration with other applications. Many SaaS programs integrate with each other. For example, Dropbox, a file hosting service, integrates with Microsoft, Salesforce, Adobe, DocuSign and more. This allows businesses to work more productively.
Sometimes there are service outages. Since SaaS is cloud-based, outages can happen for a number of reasons. If your business has critical tasks that need to be done at a very particular time, it might be best to steer clear of SaaS for those tasks.
There could be compliance issues. Many organizations must be compliant with certain governmental regulations such as PCI or HIPAA. It’s important to find out before investing in SaaS whether or not the application will keep you compliant.
There could be security concerns. Many people are wary of the cloud because they don’t want their private data on the internet. This is a legitimate concern as more businesses (large and small) are suffering from data breaches.
Performance is based on the internet connection. If you do business in a rural area or if your company hasn’t invested in high quality internet, know that your applications will be affected by the internet connection.
If you are interested in switching things up in 2016 and moving towards a Software as a Service model, we can help you do so in a safe, easy, and efficient way.