The rise in cloud-based SaaS (software as a service) has been caused mainly due to the pandemic. Due to employees having to work from home more companies have started to incorporate SaaS into their IT strategy. But is this right for your business? Here are some key benefits and downfalls of using SaaS.
What is SaaS?
SaaS is a cloud-based service where you can access an application via an internet browser instead of downloading software to your desktop PC or business network to run and update. Most people use SaaS already without realising, this includes services like Gmail or Google Doc, Dropbox, and WebEx.
There are a few advantages of using a SaaS, for instance, it cuts down on installation time, management, and software upgrading, allowing staff to focus on more concerning issues within the business. Saas also have low setup costs, instead of paying upfront for expensive software packages, you pay a monthly fee to access the software. It’s also easy to add more users, therefore making it a smart move for many businesses.
Data on a SaaS are regularly saved to the cloud, which helps prevent data loss. It also ensures that employees can work seamlessly between different devices.
- Managed from a central location
- Hosted on a remote server
- Accessible over the internet
- Users not responsible for hardware or software updates
- Lack of control: using a SaaS means that the third-party service provider has control, not only on updates and appearance but also on data and governance.
- Performance: The third-party service provider controls and manages the SaaS service, so your business will have to depend on them to maintain the service’s security and performance. In addition, the performance of the SaaS may be affected by planned or unplanned maintenance, cyber-attacks, or network issues.
- Vendor lock-in: It’s usually easy to join a service but harder to get out of it. For instance, moving data from one SaaS app to another may incur a significant cost or in-house engineering rework.
- Data security: Large amounts of data might have to be moved to the backend data centers in order for the software to work effectively. The transfer of sensitive business information to a public-cloud-based service might result in compromised security and compliance. In addition, a significant cost for migrating large data workloads might be required.
Considering moving to SaaS?
The main thing you need to consider when moving to SaaS is that it constantly requires an internet connection. This might not be a problem for office-based workers but for someone working from home without a regular internet connection can cause frustration.
For large businesses and organisations, it’s important to calculate the long term cost of using a SaaS. Compare it with traditional software solutions as they might not be as cost effective as they seem.
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