Benefits of SaaS for Corporate Users
The SaaS model is the new kid on the block and certainly one for small businesses to take note of as far as access to software applications is concerned. SaaS offers numerous benefits for companies and individuals over the traditional licenced software approach.
Easy to change vendors
One of the main problems faced by users when buying new software is that it quickly becomes out-dated and superseded by a new version, leaving them stuck with the old one. Sometimes, the application simply doesn’t do what the purchaser hoped that it would and too late they realise they’ve wasted their money. SaaS gives the corporate user much more control. Applications are sold by subscription for a monthly fee. If a client is not happy with their purchase, they simply cancel their subscription and transfer to a alternative vendor without incurring any of the usual licencing costs.
Pay for what you use
SaaS enables the corporate user to pay for the active users of the system only. Often, IT organisations over-estimate the end-user community for a particular application and this frequently leads to far fewer active users. Yet again, the corporate buyer has paid out for licences that are simply not required.
Lower cost of ownership
A common complaint concerning licenced software models has always been the unknown cost of operation and deployment of the application. With Saas those costs are fixed. SaaS providers usually bundle everything required by the user into one package with a single fee. The package includes; hardware, software and support services like implementation help desk, training, upgrades, troubleshooting, security and business continuity. This means that the total cost of ownership is known up-front so there are no nasty surprises for the corporate buyer midway through the process.
Time to market
SaaS providers take responsibility for the provision of all hardware, software and the requisite network infrastructure at their data centre. Their applications generally have limited customisation of features and the user interface with the result that delays associated with are avoided development work, enhancement and then deployment of the application are avoided.
Upgrades can be a headache for corporate users; no sooner have they purchased and rolled out the new software, an upgrade is required sometimes at extra cost. SaaS providers manage the upgrade process themselves, deploying enhancements, new releases and bug fixes centrally to the hosted applications.
This means that there are no client applications sitting on users’ desktops to be upgraded. Over a year, SaaS providers generally deliver between two and four major upgrades together with a few minor ones and the user will receive these automatically at no extra cost. This means that users can rest assured they will always have the latest version of each piece of software if they are using SaaS provided applications.
Many business are still approaching the change to SaaS with some caution and there are concerns over security, but given the huge advantages in both cost and convenience together with the greatly reduced hassle factor, SaaS must surely be the way to go for the future.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.
About Alison Page
Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies.