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What is SaaS and Should We Use it for Our Business?

By Polina Ilieva, Solution Sales Specialist at Flat Rock

Software as a service (SaaS) is the most well-known branch of cloud computing. It represents a delivery model where the application is hosted and managed in the service provider’s data center and it is accessed via an Internet browser. The idea of the SaaS model is that the customer does not buy the software, but he only pays for the service, which it provides. In this case the client does not need to install software on the servers, but he uses someone else’s capacity and he only needs to pay for the service, the cloud server maintenance and any consultation services that come on the way. SaaS has been implemented in most of the leading software companies, because by doing it they have the potential to outsource hardware and software maintenance to the SaaS provider and at the same time reduce IT support costs.

Below you may find some of the most popular activities and industries that use SaaS:

Benefits of using SaaS for business

The most important benefits of using SaaS for business are:

→ Easy adoption – SaaS applications are accessible all the time from any computer or device and the location does not matter.

Lower initial costs and less risky investment – All SaaS applications are subscription based, meaning that instead of investing a big amount of money on software at once, you pay it on separate monthly fees. You will not need to pay any license fees or take care of IT systems support.

No more upgrades – Your SaaS provider takes care of all updates and upgrades. He will manage the availability so that there is no need for the customer to add any hardware, software or bandwidth as the user base grows.

Seamless integration – Many SaaS providers offer customization capabilities to meet any specific business needs. Some of them provide APIs that allow integration to an existing ERP or other business productivity systems.

Simple introduction process – The introduction process is reduced to a minimum. The only thing you will receive as a customer is a login name and password. The SaaS collaboration systems do not require long adjustment or difficult adaptation.

Challenges and disadvantages

Even though there are plenty of pros for cloud services, we cannot just forget the challenges and the disadvantages of using SaaS. The number one concern is the security of data. Both the provider and the client are scared of a possible third party access to their sensible data. But the same applies for ex-employees that still have access to the cloud services. Another important challenge is where to search for a provider as a very common problem are the outages. Any downtime is irritating and your business would surely like to lower it. You can easily go around that problem by checking your provider’s historical performance and read carefully your Service Level Agreement. Performance is another issue that should be considered because there is no doubt that some activities are much better performed running on a local machine or over the company LAN. And last but not least is the compliance with local government data-protection regulations. You will have to carefully consider the country’s law and whether it corresponds to your business activities.

The implementation of SaaS depends entirely of your company’s needs. If buying software for all of your employees sounds expensive, then you will probably have to consider using cloud services.

For any questions or concerns, you can always get in touch with us and we will offer a technical explanation of all procedures regarding SaaS.

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