Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud-based solution that gives companies easy and affordable access to online applications and the powerful infrastructure needed to run them. One of the most appealing aspects of SaaS is that it gives businesses a speedy route to digital transformation, enabling them to deploy new technologies and put them to almost immediate use. Here, we’ll look at the benefits of SaaS for business.
As with all cloud-based solutions, SaaS products come not just with the software but with the hardware infrastructure needed to run them. Companies that adopt a SaaS product, therefore, don’t have to invest heavily in new hardware in order to deploy their new applications. The capital expenditure required to build in-house systems is no longer needed and so overall spending is reduced. What’s more, many SaaS products come with different plans, enabling companies only to pay for the actual functionality and services they need.
- Robust Security
Vendors who deliver SaaS solutions invest heavily in security, this includes both the security of the software itself and the systems on which they run. The use of data encryption, two-factor authentication, API keys, advanced firewalls, intrusion protection, etc., ensures that SaaS solutions have robust protection against malware, hacking, ransomware and data breaches.
- A scalable service
SaaS brings two kinds of scalability to businesses. As the need expands, companies can increase their use of the actual software, adding new users, functions and features while at the same time, if they need more resources, such as greater storage or processing power, this can be scaled up or down on-demand too. This helps the company be more agile and adapt quickly to change in the market.
- Anytime, anywhere access
With huge numbers of employees now working remotely and people often working flexible hours, the ability to access SaaS products online has been hugely beneficial to business. Indeed, remote-working SaaS platforms became indispensable for many companies during the pandemic. Many businesses have used these solutions as a way to downsize their offices. They also provide the ability to centralise the management of business processes, running them from a single hub, rather than spread over different sites. This helps improve overall management and reduce costs even more.
Of equal value are the customer-oriented SaaS products that enable customers to access company services around the clock. This provides the CX that customers expect in the digital age and thus helps the company remain competitive.
- Improved collaboration
Cloud solutions make it much easier for teams to share and exchange data in real-time with the assurance that information and documents are up to date. Operating on a single, cloud-based system, they can do this from anywhere and have all the tools and apps they need to collaborate on projects. With video chat, built-in messaging, document sharing, project planning tools all within one dashboard, the ability to switch quickly between apps helps improve employee productivity and satisfaction.
- Remote Backups, DR and continuity
Disasters like data loss can have catastrophic consequences for businesses. You will find that SaaS vendors already have advanced backup solutions in place that enable remote backups to be scheduled, encrypted and checked for integrity. With these in place, recovery from a disaster can be quick and far less damaging. In addition, as a cloud provider, the vendor will also have other continuity solutions in place, such as redundant data centres.
- Compliance with regulation
Compliance with regulations such as GDPR and PCI has become increasingly important to businesses, as has the need to achieve compliance swiftly when new regulations come into force. Good cloud service providers ensure their own services are compliant and that their systems and applications help their customers remain compliant too.
- Support and updates
One key advantage of a SaaS product over one developed in-house is that updates and support are provided for you. Most SaaS vendors now offer round the clock support for their products, update functionality regularly and install security patches when needed. There’s usually no need to download or install software on individual machines either. In most cases, any clients installed on devices update automatically.
How to acquire a SaaS product
There are several ways to acquire the SaaS product you need. Some solutions are only available from the vendor, while others are available directly from your cloud provider. Cloud service providers often offer open-source software as a service solutions and have partnerships with proprietary SaaS companies that can work out less expensive than going direct.