SaaS software is what everyone’s talking about today.
Big, small, and medium companies are all using SaaS and other cloud-based software, but are these software delivery models really worth investing in?
Statistics show that The bigger the company, the more SaaS solutions they invest in:
As a cloud-based service, SaaS allows you to run various applications without the cost of purchasing software outright, saving both time and money.
Other advantages of SaaS include the ability to access apps from any internet-enabled device, access scalable cloud environments, and upgrade easily as needed.
You may have many questions in your mind right now:
What are the benefits of using cloud-based services?
More specifically, what is SaaS and how does it benefit business?
Is it as complicated as it sounds, and do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks?
Can software-as-a-service make your life easier compared to a traditional software license?
Well, you’re in the right place!
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how SaaS benefits businesses and whether the advantages of using SaaS solutions truly outweigh the disadvantages associated with this cloud computing technology.
Disclaimer: If you buy something using the links in this article, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Know that I only promote stuff that I use and trust for the sake of my readers and the reputation of this site.
What is Software as a Service?
SaaS is a software that is based on the cloud computing model. SaaS solutions can refer to any type of rent- or subscription-based software application.
Rather than spending unnecessary amounts of time and money buying a traditional software program and installing it on your computer, a SaaS provider installs, runs, and updates the software for you.
Essentially, Software-as-a-service works like a library or movie-rental service. You “rent” the necessary application, and only pay for what you use on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Have you ever used email services, such as Outlook or Gmail? If so, then you’ve used a specific type of SaaS solution. These email services are free, but they work the same as any paid-for SaaS solution.
You log into your account from anywhere in the world through the internet. Once logged in, you can access emails and messages stored on the service’s network.
All you need is a web browser and your application is already waiting to be used.
A SaaS offering is available to customers no matter where they are in the world. Customers do not need to worry about software installation, software maintenance, or software deployment.
Types of SaaS Solutions
Many businesses will use Software-as-a-service applications ranging from simple solutions such as calendar software, to more complex solutions such as:
- Document management
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
Regardless of the type of SaaS application you use, they all work in the same basic way. They are accessed through the internet, often through a web browser.
Any information stored through the application by SaaS users is kept on the service provider’s network.
What are the Benefits of SaaS Solutions Over Traditional software?
Now that you know a little bit about what SaaS is, you may still be wondering what SaaS can provide for you or your business.
Let’s take a closer look at what SaaS offers customers. Here are the advantages of SaaS:
1. Cost Reduction
SaaS is cost-effective. The costs of subscription for any SaaS offering is almost always less than what it costs to purchase a traditional software program.
Also, you only pay for the features you need, which helps you in cost reduction for programs you won’t use.
Also, one subscription can be accessed from any internet-enabled device. This means you only have to purchase one subscription even if your employees will be using the application from many different devices.
The web-based model offers affordable, sophisticated applications like CRM and ERP for companies that do not have the resources to purchase and maintain the necessary infrastructure.
2. Quick and Hassle-free Setup
SaaS applications can also save customers time and hassle because they don’t require any complicated software or hardware installation. They are an out-of-the-box type of solution that is ready for use.
They are simple to use, and most don’t have much of a learning curve, saving you time trying to learn how to use the application.
3. Allows High Scalability
In the world of SaaS, scalability means the ability to work efficiently over many platforms and performance needs.
Scalable applications can be customized depending on the processes you need them to perform. For example, most SaaS applications can be scaled either up or down, depending on how much you use them or how many users you have.
4. Simple and Convenient Upgrades as Your Business Grows
Any upgrades to the SaaS application are included in the subscription cost and handled by the solutions provider.
This saves you time and money since you don’t have to worry about buying updated versions of the software and upgrading it yourself. The service provider handles the entire hassle.
5. Easy to Use
You don’t have to worry about maintenance, which is fantastic for business owners and IT specialists because it frees up more time to spend focusing on other job areas.
There is no need for special expertise/ dedicated personnel for the maintenance of SaaS apps or its infrastructure.
6. Easy to access
Since employees can access work-related SaaS applications from any device, there’s no limit to when, how, or where they can get work done.
As long as internet access is available, customers can easily use their phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer to log in.
7. High Resilience
The resilience of this type of web-based technology is its ability to ensure optimal performance in face of challenges or real-life situations. SaaS is robust and secure for businesses.
8. Fast and Automatic Updates
SaaS technology allows for quick and automatic updates whenever they are available. Users need not face the trouble of checking for new updates and doing it themselves.
9. Other Important Advantages of SaaS
- Can Work on Various Operating Systems
- Easy coordination and mobility for remote teams
- No software or hardware needs to be purchased, installed, and configured
- Quick and simple cancellation of services
- Easy integration with other SaaS solutions
- PCI Compliance
What Are The Disadvantages of Cloud-based Service SaaS?
So we’ve talked about the benefits of SaaS. Are there any disadvantages of SaaS? Many people are hesitant to use SaaS applications because of potential security issues, limitations, and integration problems. Let’s take a closer look at each of these issues.
1. Performance Management Issues
Since the cloud service is not hosted locally, businesses may face performance issues such as slower speeds.
2. Data Security Risks
The main security issues come down to how and where you or your company’s data is stored.
Traditional software programs store all your data locally, so you know where it is and are responsible for data protection. With SaaS, your data will likely be stored offsite by the service provider. So if the provider experiences a security breach or has not thoroughly backed up your data, it may become compromised.
That said, many SaaS providers have harsh security measures in place and are safe to use. Be sure and do your research beforehand so you can weigh the benefits and risks against each other and make an informed choice as to whether to use a specific application.
3. Lack of control
Another disadvantage of SaaS is that critical business functions are under third-party control.
4. Limited SaaS Applications
Another potential problem is that not all software applications include a SaaS option.
SaaS is still growing and is not yet as popular as only purchasing similar software. Even those that offer SaaS may not have a full version of the software–the SaaS version may be weaker or run slower.
Before choosing a SaaS application, make sure you know what is being offered and ensure that it will do what you need it to do. If it is too limited for your needs, you may be better off purchasing the software instead.
5. No Guaranteed 100% Up-time
As a service, SaaS applications are incredibly reliable, but none of them can guarantee 100% uptime. From time to time the system may experience outages that affect the user experience.
6. Need For Fast And Reliable Internet Connection
Any internet connection blackout may cause issues, no matter how quickly it’s resolved by your service provider.
What Are Some Popular Examples of SaaS Applications?
There are a lot of popular and highly functional SaaS providers and applications. Many of them have been around for years and provide services to millions of users worldwide.
Not every service provider will provide every application you need for your business, so you may need to consider more than one.
The following list of popular SaaS applications will give you an excellent place to start when trying to fill your SaaS needs:
- Microsoft Office 365
- Oracle Corporation
- Zoom Video Communications
We’ve talked about software-as-a-service applications and how they’re used, some of the top benefits, and a few drawbacks of using them.
SaaS applications are a convenient software tool for businesses and often for individual users, too.
Just make sure you understand what is and is not included with the application so you can choose the best application for you!