Software as a service (SaaS for short) is a relatively new model, but it has really caught on in recent years. Millions of small businesses use the Microsoft 365 Office package, but organizations large and small can choose from a wide range of SaaS solutions, including CRM giant Salesforce, Adobe, Intuit, and much more.
There are many benefits to using SaaS when running a small business, but the main ones are outlined below.
In the bad old days, companies had to pay a small fortune if they wanted to use a big software package like Microsoft Office. The cost of buying a software license was prohibitive for smaller companies and there was a huge market for pirated copies of popular software packages.
Today, most companies recognize the cost benefits of using SaaS solutions instead. Rather than paying a large sum of money upfront for a software license, businesses can pay a monthly subscription service to use a cloud-based service instead. This gives you the freedom to use the software for a month, a year, or however long you need it. It is also much cheaper for small businesses and startups that don’t have money to spend on expensive software systems.
Easy to Deploy
Installing software was once a major pain for the IT department. Discs were damaged or lost and different license keys had to be purchased for each user. Software needed to be installed in individual machines and it was a time-consuming process. These days, the process is a lot simpler. Instead of purchasing a disc, individuals pay a monthly subscription and use the software online. All you need is internet access and you are good to go. A business can be up and running in a few minutes.
SaaS providers continually upgrade their software solutions, so at any given time you are always using the latest product. This eliminates the need for purchasing expensive upgrades or patches, which often caused problems on local machines.
Most SaaS vendors recognize the benefits of providing scalable systems that integrate with other business processes and systems. You can purchase a subscription to one SaaS solution and use it with other systems. This cuts down on time lost trying to deal with software conflicts and other IT issues, but if you do have any issues, customer support is always on hand to solve your problems.
Data can be moved between folders without causing a major issue and without downtime. For example, if you need to migrate a public folder, you can use a public folder migrator such as the ExchangeSavvy public folder migrator tool to move Microsoft Exchange public folders to Microsoft Office 365. Services like ExchangeSavvy make upgrades and integration virtually seamless.
High Adoption Rates
SaaS software solutions have been adopted by businesses large and small, all over the globe. If you deal with clients on many different continents, this makes life a lot easier. It also cuts down on lost productivity time when recruiting new employees since you can virtually guarantee that a sales executive will have used Salesforce before. In fact, most employees are so used to working online these days that staff training is unnecessary unless you implement bespoke software systems.
No Infrastructure Necessary
Software systems can be extremely complex, particularly at Enterprise level. The beauty of using the software as a service is that you don’t need to worry about underlying systems architecture and infrastructure. The vendor takes care of this for you. There is no system maintenance or upgrades. Everything happens behind the scenes. All you do is use the system, which is perfect for a small business.
Poor customer service is the bane of many people’s lives. In the bad old days, there was nothing worse than having a problem with a software package, only to discover that the vendor was no longer in business or didn’t provide any customer service. These days, if you have a problem with your SaaS solution, help is readily available. SaaS providers live or die based on their reputation, so it is in a SaaS provider’s best interests to provide excellent customer service. If a SaaS provider doesn’t deliver or fix an issue when it arises, they will pay the price.
Employees can Work Anywhere
These days, employees are just as likely to work from a smartphone as they are from a desktop at the office. SaaS is perfect for today’s connected employees. They can access their files, folders, and systems from any computer or device, from anywhere in the world. They can also update systems from any device, as long as they have internet access. If your employees regularly work from home or from different sites, SaaS is the ideal solution.
Imagine how disastrous it would be if you installed an expensive software package on a desktop computer and the hard-drive crashed. Not only would you have to reinstall the software on a new computer but you would also need to hunt out the license key and, in all likelihood, speak to the vendor before you could reinstall it on a different system. All this takes time and effort, and if you have important client files to prepare, the loss of time and productivity is disastrous.
Better Security Systems
If a disaster occurs and your hard-drive dies or is lost, SaaS is readily available on a different device. SaaS providers spend a great deal of time and money maintaining security. Data is stored in the cloud on multiple servers, so you don’t need to worry about the loss of service or data. Backups and data recovery take place seamlessly, so businesses do not have to rely on users to implement daily or weekly backups.
There is little doubt that using SaaS is a smart move for small businesses. However, before you select a system for your business, read the reviews and check the details of what’s on offer. Most SaaS providers are interested in forging long-term relationships with their customers, but there are always exceptions to this rule.
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