Long before the last couple of years, flexible working had started becoming increasingly popular for businesses. Professionals whose work was largely computer-based were embracing the model of working remotely, improving their work-life balance and cutting down on unnecessary travel.
Thanks to the Covid-19 Pandemic this change to work structure was kicked into overdrive. Remote working was no longer a luxury or something generous employers allowed to help with picking up the kids or cutting down on carbon footprints. We all had to either work from home or face expensive changes to our work environments.
It’s in this environment that good Software as a service (SaaS) really comes into its own. Instead of necessary programmes having to be manually downloaded and updated to every machine and device in your office, SaaS is easily accessible through the internet from any machine with decent broadband.
What is SaaS?
Software as a service is an application that is delivered over the internet, in the cloud, rather than installed directly on your desktop. This frees up your company from having to maintain and manage complex software or hardware solutions.
A SaaS could be any number of things, from a platform for unified communications to a business app or office software. They are becoming increasingly commonplace in small and large businesses, and it’s entirely possible you were using them already and just didn’t know the term SaaS!
Some well known existing examples of SaaS are:
- Google Apps
- Microsoft 365
There are a huge number of advantages to using SaaS for your business which we will explore below. It may even be that you have an idea for an application that could streamline a sector or improve a service.
Advantages of SaaS
There is a reason why the applications we mentioned above are becoming increasingly popular for businesses. We have explored some of them below in order to help you figure out if a SaaS approach could work for you and your business.
Accessibility and Compatibility of SaaS
As mentioned above SaaS are run through an internet browser. Whilst it’s true that they may run better on one browser than another, depending on the build quality, it shouldn’t matter what operating system is being used to access it. Debates between PCs and Mac, iOS and android can be left to one side, as can the need to uniformly upgrade all computing devices.
Already the flexible benefits are clear. Not only does this simple access make it much easier for our employees or you to work on whatever device is available, but it also opens up use on smart devices. This means that necessary space-saving measures such as hot-desks or working on the public transport on your way to a meeting are very possible.
Pretty much all successful SaaS applications are designed flexibly to suit mobile so there really is no reason why you can’t access what you need, either on the go, at home, or in the office.
Updates and patches
We have all had the situation where we are desperately trying to have a productive morning and then your computer decides it needs to do a frustratingly time-consuming update to the programme you wanted to use. Or having to clear the pop-up reminders that you are due an update. These updates can feel clunky, need supervision or extra oversight from IT for security and can really impede your workflow.
Another great advantage of SaaS applications is instead of your company being responsible for maintenance and updates, the vendor can instead centrally update their application. This causes minimal disruption to users or their business operations. All security testing and bug fixes are undertaken by the vendor before a wider rollout so you can have confidence that you are using the most up to date and secure software for your business.
Saving initial investment on Hardware
One of the most convincing advantages of opting into a SaaS application rather than a more traditional software package is the difference in initial investment. We have already touched on the greater need for compatibility with localised software but matching operating systems can be just the tip of the iceberg.
Additional costs may include investment in new servers and network switches as well as just a general increase in IT infrastructure to support the running of these systems. As the hosting for SaaS is out of your hands this cost is removed.
This makes SaaS the smart choice for smaller businesses. They can have access to powerful tools and applications without the initial previously unaffordable outlay. This also means that SaaS are scalable and can grow or shrink to meet the demand for more users, without having to buy up or throw out expensive hardware.
Saving and storage
Hosting your own application also means having a way of storing data on your own premises and having a clear and reliable system for backups. This could be through cloud storage also, however it needs to be accompanied by a clear disaster recovery plan. With hardware, there is always the possibility of a system crash. This can result in a massive loss of data.
With SaaS, any data is usually stored in the cloud as you work. This is a twofold advantage. Firstly, you don’t need extra backups, making on-site storage redundant. Secondly, you are able to access your data storage from anywhere and on any machine or device.
Data and analytics
When users in the same business are using one online service, and all business is being done through a single service, monitoring the data in order to produce quality analytics is much easier. A lot of SaaS applications will have inbuilt monitoring and reporting tools in order to help you build a clear picture of productivity and traffic.
This can help you get to the bottom of where savings can be made for greater efficiency, identify costly bottlenecks and help streamline existing workflows. Clear analytics are invaluable when pitching to key stakeholders, or trying to create a clear strategy for further development.
This is really more of an advantage for vendors but also can help with B2B or collaborative projects between companies. Because the application is hosted online it means distribution is simplified. Instead of targeting a single market segment, it can easily explore a broader marketplace.
This means that SaaS applications are often cheaper for users as the delivery method has very few costs. It also means that it can be more available for smaller businesses and that it opens up services that previously would have been unavailable to certain users allowing them in turn to explore areas in which they can expand their business.
Want to find out more about SaaS?
So there you have it, when it comes to cost-saving and flexibility, you really can’t do better than SaaS applications. At CWS we work with our clients to find solutions, we use SaaS ourselves for our own internal workflow and in creating great campaigns for our clients. If you would like advice on how your business can streamline your processes through a digital solution, we would be happy to have a conversation with you.
It may be that you are familiar with these services already and are looking to become a vendor or have a unique business with its own complex needs. As well as being familiar with new software and developments becoming available each day. We are experienced in developing web applications. So we are confident that if we don’t know of an existing SaaS application that can meet your needs, we can build one for you!
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