Published: July 1, 2020
Software as a Service, or SaaS, is a delivery method where you can easily access your applications online rather than downloading, installing, and maintaining software on each of your PCs and other devices. Rather than purchasing the software yourself, you pay for a subscription to essentially "rent" the software. Using SaaS provides multiple considerably notable advantages for your business, especially if your company doesn't have in-house developers and maintainers to create traditional software.
SaaS powered by cloud computing is the base of the modern technologies and services we use every day, whether for business, communicating, and more, and because of the COVID-19 pandemic and well-needed physical distancing, SaaS and cloud technologies has become more necessary than ever. Here are some of the benefits SaaS has over traditional software, and how using SaaS may benefit your business.
Decreased costs: Unlike SaaS solutions, traditional software comes with upfront costs for hosting, licensing, and other fees, where SaaS uses less costly monthly subscriptions. Using free software may not come with the same initial costs, but if something goes wrong with the software, your company, or you, may have to pay for or be held liable for the problems. The costs required for installing and maintaining traditional software aren't present with SaaS. Since the software is available over the Internet, your business can save money by not having to host, directly manage, or get an in-house development team for the software.
Reduces licensing issues: Some people may argue using "Free and Open-Source (FOSS)" will reduce costs, however, using FOSS licenses can come with restrictions, that may harm your business. Legal issues from using licenses such as the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL) has prompted companies such as Google to create a policy that prohibits using AGPL code. Fortunately, not all open-source licenses have this issue, but they typically make the software developers immune to any liability from using their software. If there is a data breach due to an unpatched vulnerability in the FOSS applications your company used, there may be legal issues for your company instead of the software’s developers.
Less investment: On-device and especially on-premise hosted software comes with an increased investment cost, due to needing more powerful hardware to run the software. SaaS, on the other hand, doesn't require you to purchase servers and other computers or devices to run your software. Just like with the cost-saving, your investment, and likewise, risks from using the software, get reduced.
Reduced setup time, increased benefit time: Unlike with traditional software, SaaS applications are already installed and configured. All you would need to do is the provisioning of the application to be accessible from the cloud, eliminating the time and money that would have gone to configuring and deploying software to individual computers or other devices.
Better scalability: Cloud-based SaaS solutions tend to scale far better than their traditional counterparts. SaaS solutions usually can scale up or down as your business scales, and you won't have to worry about buying servers to host the additional capacity. Scaling is typically low-cost, especially when compared to the SaaS solution's traditional software counterpart.
Easy updating: If an upgrade for the SaaS solutions your business uses becomes available, the SaaS provider will handle the update or upgrade automatically without hassle on your part. As a result, the costs, efforts, and downtime that come with upgrading software on local machines get reduced.
Reduces operating costs: By using SaaS, your overall cost of operation may decrease due to the money saved with SaaS. For small businesses, the savings from not having to buy expensive hardware, servers, and other devices solely for running and maintaining software, and paying to hire a dedicated development team can go a long way.
Focus on what your business does best: If your business is not a software company, should it be making custom software? Savings from using SaaS can go to improving your products and services, instead of hiring full-time developers to maintain custom software.
Save time: By reducing the required downtime from installing or updating traditional software, you can eliminate extra work hours for your IT staff, and may reduce the number of work hours needed to train staff on how to use the software. Development and maintenance responsibilities get handled by the software vendor, instead of your company, helping your company be more productive with its goals thanks to the saved time.
SaaS has a lot to offer, can help you save money, time, and other valuable resources, and eliminate issues caused by hardware maintenance and downtime. By using the cloud and SaaS, you can more easily focus on growing your business and providing the best possible products or services.
Several companies have made a name for themselves as reputable cloud and SaaS providers with current and expected longevity to reliably provide your SaaS solutions. Some of these companies include:
There are other companies out there, but these have proven to be reliable for businesses of many sizes. If you have any suggestions for other companies, feel free to let me know so I can add them to the list.