What is SaaS?

Software as a Service (SaaS) is simply a method of delivering software on demand, via the cloud. It is a subscription model where you’re effectively renting access to software rather than outright buying it. It is a “one-to-many” model which helps even small organisations to have access to the same computing power as a large enterprise – which helps to level the playing field when it comes to global competition.

Cloud services have been delivered since 2004, which means that it is now becoming a mature, tried and tested delivery model. The reason why the model is so attractive is because it satisfies both financial and productivity goals in an unprecedented way, and in a way which would be impossible to achieve using traditional on-premise technology.

In this blog post we’ll be looking at eight benefits of SaaS versus on-premise solutions and what these mean for the average organisation.

  1. Rapid Deployment
    Deploying a business-wide software application was historically something of a huge task, where your IT teams might once have needed specialist training just to understand the intricacies of a complex application in order to install it effectively and ensuring there was enough server space and memory. When introducing a cloud application however, there’s hardly any need to bother the IT department. As long as the user can access the internet, they can tap into Cloud-based solutions instantly. It’s usually just a matter of hours to get the initial system access for the business, but thereafter each additional user can be added practically instantly. This can mean serious savings in terms of both hardware and manpower.
  1. Scalability
    Whether you are a small company or large enterprise, your business can take advantage of a SaaS solution just as easily and only pay for what you need. If you move or expand your business, you don’t have to wait to install a new server room. Likewise, if you suddenly take on a load of new starters for a temporary project, you can give them all access quickly – and close their licences just as quickly when they leave, without being stuck with a long-term financial commitment.
  2. Mobile access
    Many organisations have multiple teams of remote staff, who require access to enterprise applications anywhere. Setting up the necessary connectivity and access points for mobile users can be difficult for traditional on-premise software. With SaaS applications, this is not an issue. As long as the user can find a WiFi spot or connect to a mobile data network, they’re in – and can typically execute the same functions on their mobile device as they can on a PC.A SaaS application also offers the same efficiency regardless of date or time, whereas a local server could experience “rush-hour” bottlenecks when it gets busy at the end of the month or just before closing time.
  3. Upgradability
    When working with on-premise software, you may need to regularly invest in newer versions of the application, as well as install minor patches and updates. It’s the responsibility of your IT department to keep track of the software used and ensure it is fully up to date. The entire SaaS model on the other hand, being based on centralised service provision, means that upgrades don’t need to involve your IT department at all. The likelihood is you won’t actually need specialist expertise to install anything, as that is all taken care of in the Cloud. The software can be updated by the host service all in one place, thus saving on costs for new releases.
  4. Try before you buy
    Many SaaS solutions offer free trials of the full version of their products, which means that you can take advantage of the opportunity to work with the programmes before you make any investment in the systems.
  5. Security
    A SaaS application is not necessarily bullet-proof from an IT security perspective, but is likely to be monitored by more advanced security functions than those available to your own internal security team. As for backups, all data will typically be backed up by the vendor which saves the user a great deal of potential headaches. There is also most likely a Disaster Recovery plan in place at their data centre.
  6. Support
    If you think about a centralised system supporting a global market of users it becomes obvious that channelling all support requirements through one help service is potentially going to recognise a wider range of problems than a local helpdesk would ever see. They are also in a better position to fix things by escalating to their developers, rather than relaying messages back and forth from your support people to theirs.
  7. Circumvent Piracy
    On-premise and local installations of software can run a risk of being copied illegally or being used – sometimes inadvertently – in a non-compliant way. By not having the software assets in your physical possession there is no danger of anyone copying them or your business being penalised for breaching the licence terms.

Here at One Beyond, we have long-standing experience of providing guidance and advisory services to businesses looking to invest in software. To find out more about what options would benefit your business, contact our friendly and helpful team today!