If you run a business, then you’ve certainly heard the term Software as a Service (or SaaS briefly) over the last few years. You’ll agree that buying and installing software for your business needs is a complicated, often time-consuming, and costly process. Software as a Service is here to facilitate and make using software a piece of cake for you. How? Now all you must do is turn on any device you have with internet access, log onto the software with your email, and start working from wherever you are. And yes, it’s as easy as we present it!
What exactly is Software as a Service, how does it benefit your business, how to adopt it, and what to be aware of? Let’s solve your questions!
In this article you will learn:
- What is Software as a Service and how does it work?
- Why choose Software as a Service?
- Software as a Service examples
- 5+1 Tips: How to implement Software as a Service in your business and what to be aware of
- How to incorporate Software as a Service in your business with NUS Solutions
What is Software as a Service and how does it work?
Instead of buying and installing software locally on your computers, Software as a Service gives you access to the software over the internet, usually by paying a subscription fee so you can use it.
The operation of Software as a Service is simple and consists of three basic procedures:
Software as a Service applications are hosted on the Cloud servers. Quite likely when reading the description of Software as a Service you thought about the Cloud, whose services you can also access online. Quite right you thought so, but note the following distinction: Software as a Service is a model of software provision through the Cloud, meaning a category of services offered by the Cloud, a subset of the Cloud in other words. Think of the Cloud as one big suite, which also “accommodates” SaaS.
2. Internet access
The user has easy access to Software as a Service applications, through any web browser and from any device with an internet connection. This is its greatest advantage, making it extremely usable and competitive compared to local servers.
3. Subscription-based payment model
Instead of buying the software license, and therefore paying a large upfront fee, you pay a monthly or annual subscription to access the Software as a Service. This makes the use of the software naturally much more affordable.
Why choose Software as a Service?
Nowadays, choosing Software as a Service is a must for businesses, as the benefits are countless.
Flexibility at work
The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic has forced all businesses to modernize and become more flexible in the working model they provide. The new challenges that were created, in turn, created new opportunities at work, bringing the Modern Workplace to the forefront. Software as a Service allows its users to access the software from their home, office, or neighborhood coffee shop, and all they need to possess is a device with an internet connection, thus providing flexibility in their work. The ability to work remotely is now not a luxury for employees, but a necessity in many cases.
Saving time and resources
Purchasing and installing software used to be a time-consuming and costly process. Software as a Service is already pre-installed in the Cloud, which means that as soon as you sign up for it, it’s ready to use. You also avoid significant costs because it only requires a monthly subscription, and in case you need expansion, more storage or extra features, it’s as simple as the click of a button.
Software as a Service providers take the required security measures to protect the sensitive data of your business. The information that is transmitted and stored is encrypted and secured from external users, so it remains confidential. You can also customize user access to each category of data so that it remains private to others, even internally.
Constant upgrades and maintenance
Software as a Service provider is responsible for managing, upgrading, maintaining, and supporting applications to constantly improve their functionality and security. You always have access to the updated and latest versions of the applications, without having to do or pay anything! This “saves” you valuable time and resources, especially if you compare it to local software, for which you pay technicians to install or update it.
You probably use more than 1 software in your business, for different needs. Software as a Service offers a lot of applications that provide different software, from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to Accounting or Email Marketing. As all the SaaS applications communicate with each other, you can easily integrate all the programs, tools and applications that you manage, and make them cooperate. This reduces extremely the time spent manually transferring data from one program to another.
Software as a Service examples
Now that you have an overview, let’s go over some of the most popular examples of Software as a Service applications that meet the needs of most businesses:
Salesforce is a solution which is ideal for customer relationship management. It has emerged as one of the leading CRM applications because it provides all your departments, from HR to marketing, with an end-to-end platform for managing customer information, tracking sales, automating in-house processes, and many more customer service activities.
WordPress is a platform for creating websites and publishing content on them. It uses a complex structure of themes and plugins, which enables you to customize the look and functionality of your website according to your needs.
Dropbox is an application designed for storing and sharing files in the Cloud. Their main features include file storage and sharing, data synchronization, real-time collaboration, while it serves as a backup for your files.
5+1 Tips: How to implement Software as a Service in your business and what to be aware of
1. Identify your needs & search for the right solutions.
The first step is to determine exactly what your need for a software tool is. Are you tired of manually doing payroll for your employees or scheduling their time off? Do you want to reduce your customer service response time? Each of your business needs is met by different SaaS solution, provided by a reliable and qualified provider. Be extra careful, specific and selective as you search for it.
2. Take advantage of the free trials.
Most SaaS applications offer a free trial period, during which you can explore the features they provide and make sure they meet your needs. Also, check if they have free versions for smaller features of your business that don’t require payment.
3. Make sure you have high-speed Internet.
Software as a Service depends on the Internet connection to operate. This means that you must have a stable, reliable, and high-speed internet connection to use it, not only from the office but also from wherever you choose to work.
4. Customize your Software as a Service based on your needs.
The features of SaaS applications are customized according to your requirements. You have the ability to add, remove or modify the features to match exactly what you need.
5. Consider Software as a Service on-premise.
In case you deal with sensitive data and security is of utmost importance to you, consider a private Cloud that allows you to run the Software as a Service on-premise, on your own local servers. This model obviously requires a greater technical and financial burden, since your business is responsible for its software infrastructure.
6. Educate your staff.
Keep your staff up to date and trained on new updates and the proper way to manage it. Its effective use will help you take full advantage of its potential.
Discover the future of your business with the Software as a Service!
Software as a Service is undoubtedly an innovative solution that allows businesses to upgrade their infrastructure and remain competitive in response to new business challenges. It is a tool that will help you save time, resources and transform your business.