The continually evolving digital technology offers small and medium enterprises new opportunities to improve their operational efficiency and enhance productivity while also reducing costs. Instead of using on-premise software systems that usually have a long deployment time, are difficult to maintain and involve significant CapEx, businesses can now opt for Software as a Service (SaaS).
As a cloud-based solution, SaaS is a versatile IT tool that is ‘purchased’ on a subscription basis. Since it is hosted on the service provider’s server, it can be accessed on any device via a web browser, and this makes it suitable for organisations that have employees working from home and other remote locations. It is also valuable for businesses with multiple offices across geographically dispersed regions. With anytime-anywhere availability of the required software, workers can be more productive.
What are the other reasons that encourage businesses to opt for SaaS? Do these cloud-based applications impact the bottom line of an organisation?
Given below are some factors that justify the use of SaaS.
Predictable costs and affordability: Unlike on-premise apps, there are no upfront costs for SaaS applications. Users only subscribe to the custom apps they need and pay a monthly charge for the same.
Even though a recurring charge in the form of OpEx replaces CapEx here, there are no additional expenses for maintenance and support services. The vendor ensures that the subscribed application is running flawlessly, and the business paying a monthly fee derives value from the investment. The payments also cover the cost of software license, regular upgrades and backups.
Quick installation and configuration: When it is taken in the form of SaaS, the custom software required by a business gets configured online within a few hours or days – as per the complexity of the design. This flexibility makes SaaS a more convenient option than on-premise applications that have to be installed on a physical server owned by the business and then on each device (desktop/laptop) for individual users.
Scalability: SaaS applications keep up with the growth of an enterprise. New features can be added, and more licenses can be obtained as the users increase. There is no need to upgrade the network or purchase additional servers as the application is hosted in the cloud.
Conversely, if an organisation wants to restrict the usage of a SaaS application or allow it to be accessed by only some employees, the licenses can be scaled back. Summarily, SaaS has a pay-per-usage model, providing a high degree of flexibility to the business.
Security and IT support: Considering the criticality of customers' concerns about the security of their data when it is stored off-site, reliable and experienced SaaS vendors offer more robust data security than what the customer can afford at their premises. This is particularly the case for small and medium enterprises that do not have adequate IT resources, controls and expertise. With a SaaS vendor to store their data and manage their enterprise applications, they have a stronger layer of security.
Additionally, the data is backed up by the vendor, and the business is entitled to comprehensive IT support for maintenance of the SaaS apps it pays for.
Reduced energy costs and carbon footprint: By using SaaS applications and software systems, an organisation also fulfils some of its environmental obligations. When applications are hosted in the cloud, the load on physical servers at the workplace is reduced, and therefore less energy is consumed. This safeguard leads to a smaller carbon footprint. In the long run, it also helps to bring down the payments on electricity bills.
Given the benefits delivered by SaaS applications and software, organisations across the globe are increasingly replacing their on-premise software systems with these cloud-based solutions. Microsoft Office 365, Amazon Web Services, Google G Suite, Zendesk, Dropbox and WebEx are some of the top SaaS offerings popular with business users. The applicability of SaaS technology on mobile devices makes them more useful for organisations that have a large number of remote workers. As per a report¹, 73% of businesses say that nearly all their apps will be SaaS by 2020. In India, there is a rising demand for SaaS applications, particularly from the hospitality sector.²
If you are trying to improve the agility of your business with systems that are cost-effective, scalable, secure, easy to maintain and can meet the needs of a mobile workforce, Tata Tele Business Services will provide you with the cloud and SaaS solutions customised for your requirements.
To know more about these services, call us at 1800 266 1800 or talk to an agent via Live Chat on our website.