If your business is slowly transitioning into cloud computing, you’ve most likely heard about software-as-a-service (SaaS). Interestingly, if you’re considering going into SaaS, you’re likely tapping into a highly-diversified industry that can reap a lot of benefits, given how cloud services itself is poised to grow in the coming years. According to Gartner, as reported by ZDNet, public cloud services are estimated to be worth as much as $204-billion in 2016, with SaaS comprising 18.5-percent of the whopping value. This makes SaaS quite the potentially-profitable venture, should you know how to make the shift and how to make it work. For the curious, here’s a quick guide to get you up to speed with SaaS and its potentially-numerous benefits for your company.
What Is SaaS?
SaaS offers a brand new way for people in today’s digital world to access software, where unlike other pieces of software, SaaS is a subscription-based offering that is readily accessed via the internet. Well-known examples include Netflix, Cisco WebEx, Citrix GoToMeeting, Salesforce, Google Apps, and Office 365.
In essence, SaaS is a kind of software distribution model wherein software applications are available via a third-party host. Customers can then proceed to purchase these applications over the internet. This makes SaaS one of the three “children” of cloud computing, alongside the well-known platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).
Like its siblings, SaaS now removes the need for companies to run and install applications in their own machines and data centers. This can also save money as it removes the need for software support, installation, licensing, as well as hardware maintenance, provision, and acquisition.
Benefits of SaaS
Perhaps more interesting to take note, however, are the potential benefits SaaS can provide to its users. A lot of companies are shifting towards SaaS because they’re likely to be able to experience benefits such as:
- Flexible payments, wherein customers can subscribe to a particular SaaS offer via a pay-as-you-go model. This allows businesses to exercise more predictable budgeting methods while eliminating the need for customers to install and acquire additional hardware. Users can also “unsubscribe” to offerings should they feel unsatisfied.
- Scalable usage, where customers have the option to “scale” the kinds of features they want the SaaS offer to give them, for different kinds of fees. This allows customers to access fewer, or more, features depending on the demand.
- Automatic updates, where the service providers can now easily provide bugs and fixes to various software – as well as allow them to easily access and tap into their customer-base with new updates that can enhance their experience.
- Accessibility and persistence, as now users can access services and SaaS offerings via the internet and through an easy-to-use system. This means SaaS offerings can be utilized any time, anywhere, provided they have the internet connection and the specs of the hardware they need.
Interestingly, organizations can also integrate SaaS offerings with their other software using what is called application programming interfaces (APIs), which allows increased customization for companies that use SaaS to do their operations in business. This affords a ton of opportunities for expansion.
This means endeavors such as communications, performance monitoring, planning, sales tracking, accounting, and invoicing can be done by SaaS without the need for complicated software.
The Bottomline: The Future Is Now, But You Have To Prepare For It
SaaS has divided a lot of folks in various industries – primarily because of its rather recent arrival. A lot of traditional members of the industry may be nervous for good reason, as making the “shift” towards SaaS is gambling a lot of their resources for a new structure without guaranteed immediate returns. For the others, however, they see SaaS as a growing endeavor ripe for experimentation. This means, in the end, learning about SaaS and what it can do for your company is still the best approach before making “the shift” or opting out of it in the meantime.
You May Also Like: