Leading-edge companies are increasingly jumping on the Software as a Service (SaaS) bandwagon. Discover why, and see a list of the key benefits SaaS can bring to your organisation and people.
Software as a Service (SaaS) is reshaping the enterprise-software industry with progressive organisations around the globe adopting the cloud-based tech at lightning speed.
According to McKinsey & Company, in 2010 SaaS products accounted for six percent (6%) of the world’s total enterprise-software revenue. By 2018, that market share had grown to almost 30 percent (30%), or US$150 billion. By 2026, analysts predict the SaaS market will be worth over US$300 billion.
Why? Because it makes good business sense. SaaS solutions are lower cost and more reliable, ultimately costing as much as 77 percent less than the purchase, install and upkeep of on-premise software solutions. Users have access to secure cloud infrastructure from any location across the globe and can take advantage of the increased storage capacity. SaaS solutions are also customisable, scalable and save users significant time.
But it’s not just the C-Suite that benefits. SaaS improves the working environment for all people within the organisation – automating tedious and often repetitive administrative tasks, freeing staff up to focus on their core business responsibilities.
Think Netflix! Just as we now stream our favourite movies, or access our favourite media providers on a monthly subscription, so too are enterprises choosing Software as a Service as a preferred solution.
In a nutshell, SaaS is a software delivery model whereby an application is hosted remotely by a service provider and made available to customers over a network on a subscription basis.
Unlike traditional, commercial off-the shelf software solutions (COTS), which must be purchased, installed and maintained, SaaS allows you to access the software via the internet, eliminating the need for often complex and costly software and hardware maintenance.
Users simply pay a subscription fee to gain access to the software, which is then accessed directly through your browser – an internet connection is all that’s needed.
“The SaaS model replaces legacy processes and systems and in doing so, it improves profitability and communication, both within an organisation and with customers,” explains Damien Criddle, founder and CEO of GLX, a SaaS company that provides SaaS solutions to the commodities markets.
So why is SaaS experiencing such rapid global uptake?
According to Criddle: “SaaS allows the user to consolidate information and resources into one software suite, rather than dispersed across multiple software systems and databases. This makes accessing key data much easier and more transparent for the entire enterprise.
“GLX designs and develops commodity lifecycle transaction system management systems for global commodities markets, so specifically, our software provides digital tools tailored for the commodity market, providing users with the ideal environment for teams to collaborate on trades and increase productivity.”
Here’s a list of the key advantages of SaaS over other software solutions:
SaaS saves you money: There are a number of ways SaaS can provide cost savings.
It eliminates the (often high) cost of purchasing, installing and maintaining software, allowing companies to focus their time and effort on core business.
Typically, the SaaS subscription model allows businesses to only pay for the features and services they need (more on this below), and gives them access to sophisticated high-powered software that may have otherwise been unobtainable, especially for smaller organisations.
Also, because the SaaS model is hosted in the cloud, there is no longer a need for costly local infrastructure.
SaaS is scalable and configurable: This is possibly SaaS’s biggest differentiator. Subscribers to SaaS products have the option of adding or removing services and features of the software as required, making SaaS products highly flexible – you only pay for what you need and as a user, you don’t need to wade through a swathe of irrelevant features.
“Customers can easily add users and new modules, for their horizontal, vertical and functional lines,” explains Criddle.
SaaS requires less maintenance (saving your IT people time): Providers of SaaS automatically perform application updates and patch management, which relieves subscribers from having to purchase new, updated software and relieves in-house IT staff from the burden of time-consuming maintenance.
SaaS offers improved access and visibility: Because SaaS applications are hosted on the cloud, users can access them at any time, from any place, and from any internet-enabled device. Visibility over company operations is also improved, making it easier to monitor data use, manage privileges and ensure real-time visibility for users and management.
“SaaS solutions give the user access to valuable data sets in real time. Our software creates an integrated process for gathering the right data and incorporating it fully for business intelligence at a higher level. By doing this, units within an organization can more accurately translate raw data into insights across various touchpoints,” says Criddle.
SaaS helps you mobilise your business: For better or worse, COVID-19 has irreversibly changed the way we work – agile workspaces, remote workforces and on-demand delivery of services and products are all here to stay. SaaS products enable all of the above – they allow teams to effortlessly collaborate from anywhere, without having to manage the deployment of software in the data centre or on devices.