How can SaaS apps help my business grow?
Whether you’re just setting up in business or you’ve been involved in your organisation for many years, SaaS, otherwise known as Software as a Service could provide you with the software solutions your business needs.
If you haven’t come across the term ‘SaaS’ before, you’ll almost certainly have encountered it online, whether you realise it or not. You may even be using SaaS applications yourself; Dropbox and Microsoft Office 365 are just two examples of the technology at work.
More and more companies are coming to recognise the benefits that SaaS brings, so if you’re planning on growing your business, here’s what you need to know.
SaaS saves your business money
Business-related programs and applications can be extremely costly, and that’s just purchasing the software. For specific business-related programs to run smoothly and efficiently using a traditional approach, your business needs to invest heavily in hardware and IT infrastructure.
In the case of centralised enterprise software, you’ll need dedicated servers which require endless attention to keep them in prime condition. Humidity and heat levels need to be kept under close control, so you may need to install heating and air conditioning in the server room. You’ll also need some extra space for the equipment. And of course, the business will need highly trained IT support staff to attend to essential maintenance and support tasks.
But with SaaS, you effectively ‘rent’ the software. The programs and applications are stored in data centres, eliminating the need for an IT department. Your business can access the software from just about anywhere. All staff need is an appropriate device and an internet connection.
SaaS mitigates security and compliance issues
Rules governing data protection are becoming increasingly onerous, with heavy penalties for companies suffering a data breach. Keeping up to date with current legislation is an added, but necessary, expense, requiring trained staff to ensure compliance.
In a SaaS model, the data centre provider is responsible for keeping the applications and infrastructure compliant with current regulations. Highly-trained staff make sure that programs are updated regularly, so you always have the latest version of the software. Backups are taken care of too, saving your business further time and money.
The skill levels of data security experts based in a data centre will be far higher than most businesses could afford in-house, so you’ll benefit from enhanced security. Software upgrades will be carried out at source, so everyone in your organisation using the system will be on the latest version with no concerns about time-consuming updates for each device or user.
SaaS applications are also resilient; far more so than on-premise solutions in which servers will be subject to crashing in the event of power failure. Data centres have alternative power sources in the event of an outage, so your company data and applications can always be accessed.
SaaS lets you upscale almost instantly
As your business grows, so too will your software requirements. Purchasing your software outright will entail major upheavals when you upscale, as systems will almost certainly have to undergo periods of downtime. Upgrades routinely create glitches somewhere along the line, with the potential for operational disruption and thus further cost.
With SaaS applications, in contrast, you can change your software subscriptions according to your exact needs. In most cases, this can be managed almost in real-time, so if you find you need to upgrade your package, it can be as easy as clicking a button. And as every business owner knows all too well, time really does equal money, so the faster your software can respond to increased demand, the more productive – and profitable – your business will be.
SaaS improves productivity and efficiency
If you’ve ever experienced server downtime in your business, you’ll know only too well how things can grind to a halt. Without access to company and customer data, it can be almost impossible to get anything done at all, even though you must continue to pay your workforce.
SaaS helps to improve efficiency and productivity by ensuring system availability at any hour of the day or night.
SaaS is accessible
If your business involves staff travelling in the course of their duties, SaaS provides the ideal solution for keeping them up-to-speed with everything going on back at the office. Rather than having to be physically located at your premises to access software, employees can log in from anywhere in the world. The only requirement is an internet connection and a compatible device.
This further improves efficiency, since orders and sales can be processed in real-time. For example, remote sales staff can check on stock levels at the point of sale, leading to improved sales volumes and customer satisfaction.
It is essential that you thoroughly vet potential SaaS providers and ensure that they have the track record and references, together with appropriate service level agreements (SLAs) and contractual commitments to protect your business from an operational and regulatory perspective.
That said, the meteoric growth in SaaS adoption is, therefore, of little surprise as more and more companies are recognising the vast benefits that it brings. Small or large, your business can make the most of every opportunity by opting for appropriate SaaS software, rather than taking the traditional on-premise approach.