This post has been updated for 2021.
Like many technology trends, “Software as a Service” (SaaS) has entered into the realm of buzzwords that can be confusing and easy to ignore.
So, what is SaaS, and what good does it do you to know?
It’s a method of software delivery where applications are hosted remotely by a vendor or service provider and are made available to customers over a network. Simply put, users rent the software instead of purchasing it. Most SaaS providers offer a usage-based subscription that can be purchased on a monthly or yearly basis. Although it is a departure from the conventional method of purchasing software, SaaS can provide extremely notable advantages in the business environment. As the integration of cloud computing increases, many software providers are adding SaaS capabilities that could lead to huge gains.
If you’re looking for a provider with SaaS abilities, check out our Product Selection Tool. Answer a few questions and get up to 5 recommendations from our technology advisors tailored to your needs. It’s fast and completely free.
More of a visual learner? Here’s a video breaking down the pros and cons of SaaS:
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Four advantages of SaaS
SaaS can provide notable savings for several different reasons. Foremost, it eliminates the upfront cost of purchase/installation, as well on-going costs like maintenance and upgrades. Instead of spending large amounts of money on hardware installations, SaaS applications can be easily downloaded and maintained. Furthermore, pay-as-you-go models allow businesses to pay for only what they are using and not pay heavily on un-used licensing. SaaS can be especially advantageous for small businesses because it provides access to expensive, high-powered software that might have been otherwise unobtainable through conventional purchasing methods. Also, the subscription based method eliminates the extreme financial risk of expensive software.
Many people say “time is money” and thankfully, SaaS can save both. For many SaaS applications, installation is as simple as having an internet connection and acquiring a log-in. Furthermore, maintenance responsibilities are shifted from your IT department to the vendor itself. This eliminates extra work hours and downtime that might have been necessary to upgrade conventional software. Finally, SaaS apps tend to have a smaller learning curve which means quicker adoption across your workforce.
3. Scalability & Accessibility
Another great feature of SaaS is that the pay-as-you-go model provides fantastic flexibility and options. Because the software is hosted externally by a vendor, changing your usage plan is easy and can be done without advance notice. Additionally, web-based use allows subscribers to access the software easily from any location with internet capabilities.
With the conventional software installation method, updates can require enormous amounts of time and money. Even worse, version discrepancies between members of your workforce can lead to compatibility issues and wasted time. With SaaS however, subscribers can simply log-on to already upgraded services.
Software as a Service has a lot to offer. If it’s used properly, it can help your business save money, time, and human resources. By eliminating problems like software maintenance and incompatibility, SaaS can provide streamlined focus and greater productivity. However, like other technology solutions, SaaS has some drawbacks. It is important to thoroughly research the options on an individual basis before implementing any solutions. To help with the confusing terrain of SaaS, we will soon detail some disadvantages and drawbacks to help you make balanced and well-informed decisions.
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