Benefits of Software as a Service

Over the last few years, the software industry has been shifting from a model where companies purchase, install, and maintain expensive software system on their own networks, to a web-hosted solution to which organizations subscribe through a 3rd party.

The shift is occurring because organizations like yours benefit when companies like EZFacility offer software as a web-hosted service (SaaS).

Regardless of what specific business tool you are evaluating, your company can benefit from SaaS in a variety of important ways. When you subscribe to a software service instead of purchasing software outright, you:

  • Save money.
  • Save time.
  • Focus your budgets on competitive advantage rather than infrastructure.
  • Gain immediate access to the latest innovations.

Save money

Several factors contribute to making it considerably less costly to implement a SaaS solution instead of a traditional on-premises software installation. These include:

  • A decrease in IT costs.
  • Economies of scale
  • Pay as you go.

Lower IT costs

When you subscribe to a SaaS service, your company can avoid the costs associated with implementing conventional software. A typical software installation involves purchasing and maintaining servers, housing them, and installing and maintaining the software. This requires the time and effort of experienced IT personnel and distracts staff in your organization in a variety of ways.

Pay as you go

When you subscribe to a SaaS solution, your company pays a monthly or annual subscription fee. Compared to purchasing a traditional software license, this subscription payment structure works to your advantage.

An on-going monthly expense is easier to manage in your budget than a large one-time expense. With SaaS offerings, you can cancel or modify your subscription at any time without losing your initial up-front investment.

Also, with traditional software, you usually have to wait 6 months or more for the next release to benefit from enhanced features and functionality for your business. With a SaaS subscription, you can benefit from the enhancements to your software on a very regular basis, usually every 4 to 6 weeks. As soon as a new or improved feature is added to the application, your company can begin using it right away.

Common SaaS concerns

If you are concerned about whether a web-hosted solution is best for your business? The answers to these questions should address your primary concerns:

  • Will my data be 100% secure?
  • Will the application be available every time I need it?
  • Will I lose control of my proprietary business data?

Will my data be 100% secure?

Security and privacy are of critical importance whether you utilize a SaaS solution or purchase software and implement it in-house. A trustworthy SaaS provider offers you the level of security your business will need while saving your company the expense and effort required to house, deliver, maintain and back up an in-house application.

When you’re considering a SaaS offering, ask the provider the following questions:

  • Is your production environment housed in a state-of-the-art hosting facility?
  • What are the security arrangements for the facility? Are they in place 24/7/365?
  • What type of infrastructure do you host data on? Are there virus protection arrangements in-place?
  • Do you utilize an independent third party to run periodic external and internal vulnerability scans?
  • How often do you back up data, and where are they stored?
  • What level of data encryption is utilized to protect website transactions?
  • What is your privacy policy?

Will the application be available when I need it?

SaaS is not a new or unproven delivery model. Companies such as Salesforce.com have been around for many years and have literally 10’s of thousands of customers, including large Global 1000 organizations.

Reliable SaaS providers have numerous safeguards in effect to ensure "five 9’s" (99.999%) availability of their software. When considering a SaaS service, ask the vendor the following questions:

  • Do you have hardware redundancy in-place to avoid consequences due to equipment failure?
  • Does your outsourced data center have redundant power supplies, such as battery and diesel generator backups?
  • Are your web server and database farms scalable to quickly meet a sudden increase in subscribers?
  • Does your staff include a highly qualified Ops team that will monitor the site 24/365?

Will I lose control of my proprietary business data?

When you subscribe to a SaaS service, your application data is stored on the provider’s servers rather than your in-house environment.

If you are worried about losing control over your proprietary data, ask your potential provider the following questions:

  • Do you have a detailed data back-up plan in place?
  • Where (and how) do you store the backups?
  • Is my data fully exportable in a format that I can easily re-use?
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