Many clients ask us, “what are the Benefits of SaaS (Software as a Service) applications?” It is a question being asked of many managed service providers as SaaS applications like Microsoft Office 365, Sharepoint and Skype are adopted by more small businesses.
One IT industry estimate says that by the end of 2017, 94% of small businesses will have launched at least one SaaS application.Yet, in spite of the fact that the vast majority of businesses are using them, SaaS applications are not well understood outside the tech industry.
Perhaps that is because Software as a Service goes by so many other names: SaaS, cloud software, internet-based applications, just to name a few.
What SMBs Need to Know About SaaS
The main thing small and medium businesses (SMBs) need to know is that these are all subscription-based software applications that are delivered over the internet. While many SMBs are familiar with the idea of licensing a software application that comes in a box or downloads it from the internet, SaaS is neither of these things.
Instead, SaaS is provided via a web interface that allows you to use the software without installing or downloading it onto your computer. SaaS applications are therefore truly internet-based and device independent.
The SaaS model offers a number of benefits to software manufacturers, which explains why software manufacturers like Microsoft and many others have shifted in this direction over the last few years. Among these the benefits of Saas?
- SaaS providers manage and administer software centrally, facilitating upgrade and patch cycles.
- The software is continuously improved, making development faster and less expensive.
- Faster response to changes in the world of technology, such as the shift to mobile.
- Reduced costs to provide ongoing support for outdated software.
But what about the advantages of your business?
Business Advantages of SaaS
Software as a Service isn’t just a boon for software manufacturers. This model offers a number of advantages to your business. Here are three of them:
- Lower Upfront Costs – SaaS has lower upfront costs than purchasing a license or one-time download of a software application, where all costs are paid upfront. With SaaS applications, you pay a monthly subscription fee based on the number of users in your organization.
- Scalability and Flexibility – Because subscriptions are user-based, it’s easy and affordable to add or eliminate users at any time. Another advantage: most SaaS software offers different service levels that allow you to upgrade the service based on your needs. This means that Software as a Service easily scales to meet the needs of your business, and offers a degree of flexibility that licensed software can’t match.
- Lower IT Footprint – Software as a Service providers manage maintenance and upgrades centrally, pushing upgrades and patches out to all users on a continuous basis. When there is a problem with the software, the provider delivers technical support and solutions as needed. Your organization does not need to apply a virus patch to the software to keep it running, or deal with the headaches associated with software maintenance or upgrades. And SaaS applications don’t need a dedicated machine or device – you can run them on any device with an internet connection, vastly reducing infrastructure costs.
SaaS delivers many benefits to small and medium businesses, but there are a few challenges as well. One of the most significant challenges of Software as a Service is that SaaS depends on reliable and secure internet connectivity in order to work.
That’s where managed service providers like Tolar Systems come in. We deliver connectivity and support, network security and much more to help businesses like yours take advantage of the SaaS revolution.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can make Software as a Service work for your business.