Why it's Time for SaaS to Become the New Normal for Businesses
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a phrase that many will not have heard of before the outbreak of COVID-19. However, the recent confinement to home office for so many of us has made SaaS a necessity for businesses worldwide. In this article, we take a look at what exactly SaaS means, how it compares to traditional methods of providing software, and why now is the time to embrace it.
The pandemic has affected all of us in many different ways, and the business world has no doubt changed dramatically as a consequence. For those of us that are lucky enough to be able to work from home, requiring only a laptop and a headset, we have continued our days almost the same as before - only from the comfort of home instead. The day-to-day still consists of replying to emails, jumping on Microsoft Teams conference calls, planning and documenting on Confluence, publishing blog posts on Hubspot, sharing content with agencies via FotoWare, and creating new graphic designs with Canva. The reason that all this is possible is thanks to cloud technology - using software that runs on someone else’s server. It's Software as a Service.
Let’s take a step back - What exactly is SaaS?
Software as a Service is the concept of delivering a software package as an Internet-based service where the vendor takes care of infrastructure and software updates. You might be thinking “Isn’t that the case with all software?” - well, not quite. Many businesses have traditionally chosen to run all their software on-premises, often owing to internal policies or special levels of security. In other words, the software is installed, operated, and maintained on their own local servers rather than at a remote facility.
In the case of an extraordinary circumstance, such as the COVID-19 outbreak, we have all been pushed out of our comfort zones like never before. Travel restrictions and lock-down rules have severely limited the possibilities for collaboration among colleagues, partners, and agencies. Yet, the show must go on - we still have jobs to do! News articles need to be published and brands must continue advertising, keeping their communications and products visible to the public. For many businesses, this has caused serious problems with staff unable to access the tools and resources they need to get on with their jobs.
SaaS solves this problem, enabling you to access your work tools at any time, from any device, and any location.
Many of our customers have been looking to make the move to the cloud, who previously relied on an on-premises setup for performance reasons. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 is seemingly fast-tracking this need for many businesses, as the majority of the non-essential workforce is now remote.
So, what are the main differences between an on-premises system and SaaS?
SaaS allows you to pay monthly or annually, while with on-premises solutions you often have a big upfront investment - the latter being a far less attractive proposition in economically turbulent times.
- With SaaS, you can get set up in literally a couple of minutes - so you can get your work done faster. The 'service' part means that we take care of all the magic that happens behind, you do not need to buy hardware and do installations.
Maintenance and updates are taken care of by SaaS vendor automatically - so you don’t have to take the risk of investing in IT and tying up funds that are better used elsewhere.
SaaS is safer than on-premise - some reading this may disagree with me on this, due to exceptional internal policies. But when natural disaster strikes, would you rather have a single server room that can be knocked out by a flash flood, or would you prefer to have your data automatically replicated to several data centers across the globe?
SaaS offers infrastructure and scalability, meaning that data replication and redundancy is available at a price that’s infinitely lower than any on-prem solution can ever come close to.
SaaS is totally hardware independent. You can use the software at hand from any browser type and any device - Mac, Windows, Tablet or mobile - it does not make a difference.
According to Gartner, 69% of enterprise companies say that the majority of apps will be SaaS by 2020. With the way our lives have changed in recent weeks, and with the new generation of remote workers expecting availability and accessibility at all hours and places, that number should get much closer to 100% this year.
Today, focusing on the customer is of greater importance than ever. For software companies, that means taking responsibility for making it easier for users to do their jobs no matter where they are.
At FotoWare, I'm happy to see how our customers benefit from our SaaS solution, helping them to search, find, and share their digital files with ease. To learn more about our amazing customers and how they use FotoWare, you can read their stories here.