Many businesses are turning towards SaaS based applications in recent years. Using the benefits offered by these applications, businesses are channeling their growth and marketing strategies around them to boost productivity in the long run.
1. An Introduction to SaaS
SaaS is a software delivery method, which allows any device having a web browser and internet connection to access data from anywhere. The method follows a web-based model wherein the data is provided by the third party software vendors who are responsible for building and maintaining databases, servers and the code for applications.
A few common examples of SaaS-based applications, which we use daily, include Google Apps, Salesforce, Concur, Dropbox, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, etc.
2. Pros of SaaS
SaaS has many pros, including:
- Accessibility: SaaS cloud services help users to gain access to data from any place in the world at any time. All users would require for the same purpose are a device that can connect to the internet, stable internet connection and valid user authentication.
- Scalability: SaaS services allow companies to subscribe more services during the peak time and then get back to the same subscriptions during intermittent slack periods, thereby allowing the former to cut costs related to managing these services.
- Security: With SaaS, the installation of new services throughout the organization becomes easier. All one needs to do is install the new software and connect it to the central system where it has been installed and deploy it from there.
- Cost-Effective Maintenance: The cost of building and maintaining new software is managed by third-party software vendors, thus reducing the load on businesses.
- Reduced Capital: With third party vendors taking care of software expenses, companies can invest more money in operating and marketing costs rather than capital costs.
3. Cons of SaaS
SaaS services come with their share of cons as well, which include:
- Security: As the usage of data moves to cloud databases, the question of keeping sensitive data secure arises.
- Control: SaaS services allow businesses to have limited or no control over software services they use. This limits options like customization of software services as well.
- Connectivity: SaaS services are effective only with a stable internet connection. Outages can cause disruptions in important works, thereby reducing productivity.
- SLA (Service Level Agreement): SLAs differ from provider to provider, making it difficult for companies to keep abreast of new conditions and regulations when moving their data from one SaaS cloud to another.
4. How SaaS can help Businesses
- SaaS Services reduce Application Costs: SaaS reduces costs related to IT infrastructure, thereby reducing application costs for companies and allowing them to invest the same money in other areas. SaaS services are subscription-based and require minimal investment. The costs related to the services can also be managed appropriately by removing or adding services as and when required.
- SaaS can increase Productivity by providing the latest Business Solutions and Features: SaaS services allow businesses to gain access to the latest business applications and upgrades without significant investments. The businesses can also access these applications and services within moments of them being released, as well as enjoy automatic updates and bug fixes to improve productivity significantly.
- SaaS provides flexible Business Solutions for Businesses and users: SaaS services allow businesses to be more flexible with their models, strategies and business models. They provide a seamless model to add new users and business solutions, as well as customize existing solutions, with minimal hassles. Designed with the capability to integrate multiple users at the same time, SaaS applications provide scalable solutions for businesses, as well as users. SaaS applications are easy to understand and operate as well, making them practical for businesses and users. The customization of these applications also makes it easy for the concerned departments to use SaaS data, modules and reports without confusion.
- SaaS allows seamless collaboration: One of the best ways SaaS can help businesses is by allowing many users to work collaboratively on the same application or service without any hindrances. A centralized location allows users to make changes to modules and documents from anywhere while storing data intelligently to avoid data loss.