Just like large enterprises, small businesses need the latest and greatest applications and software. Unlike large enterprises, however, small businesses likely do not possess the human resources, funds, or time to employ a premises-based solution or the ongoing support of applications; and thats exactly where Software as a Service comes into play.
The Software as a Service (SaaS) model allows businesses to pay a monthly per-use fee to a provider to access licensed software via the Internet. In short, that equates to no support requirements, no upfront expenses, automatic configurations and updates, and faster time-to-market, which reduces the drag on your IT department. Compared to on-premises solutions which typically take months before theyre up and running, SaaS can be ready to go in weeks or even days. Additionally, SaaS enables you to effortlessly support a distributed workforce for enhanced support for mobile workers, and increased productivity. All of this translates into huge competitive advantages for small and seasonal businesses.
With SaaS, all your employees need is an Internet connection to gain access to an application as if it were fixed on his or her desktop. And the benefits of Software as a Service dont just end there; businesses with seasonal requirements can adjust their subscriptions to match the scale of their needs. Within your contract, if additional seats are needed, SaaS can easily be scaled up; likewise, if the amount of seats needs to be scaled down, SaaS can do that as well.
Are you considering Software as a Service? Here are a few questions to help you decide:
- Do you own, or are you part of a small or seasonal business or home office looking to relieve your overworked IT staff?
- Does your business lack the resources or capital to build an entirely new infrastructure?
- Do you require your data to be backed up but also need to be up and running quickly?
- Would you rather not have to deal with updating versions of software or applications?
According to Yankee Group Research analyst Steve Hilton, SaaS blows that former model out of the water.
Whats unfortunate for smaller businesses that answer yes to the above questions, is that many dont know this alternative exists.
Eventually, as more companies begin to realize its benefits vis--vis implementing a premises-based solution, SaaS will become a fixture in the communications industry. In due course, larger organizations will come to see the advantages of freeing up their IT staff to focus on mission-critical issues while maintaining the same control over their software, and ultimately turn out to be targets for SaaS providers as well.