There’s a good chance that if you’re buying software today, it’s going to be a cloud-based, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) system. No matter the size of your business, SaaS software is now the default deployment model for software companies for nearly every business technology in the world.
It’s not all that surprising. Software you can download and use without massive installation costs or strict contracts just makes more sense for a majority of businesses.
If this is the first time you’ve heard the term SaaS, or you’re more accustomed to a traditional deployment method for software, it’s important to understand your options when finding new software.
With that in mind, here are five major benefits a SaaS solution offers you over a traditional deployment method:
- SaaS solutions will save you money
- SaaS integrates better with your other tools
- SaaS will give you immediate benefits
- SaaS solutions are regularly updated and improved
- SaaS are faster and easier to update
What is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)?
Before we get to the benefits, it’s important to understand what a SaaS solution is. The SaaS business model is a method of software delivery that allows your business to access data and applications from the cloud with any device with an internet connection and a web browser. Additionally, many SaaS solutions come with their own downloadable application.
With this web-based model, you don’t have to worry about hosting or maintaining servers because the provider will do that for you.
SaaS differs from more traditional, on-premise software delivery models in two key ways:
- SaaS deployments don’t require extensive hardware. This means you won’t have to outsource most of the IT responsibilities typically required to maintain and install in-house software because your SaaS provider can help troubleshoot.
- SaaS systems are typically priced below a subscription model. More traditional, on-premise software is typically purchased through a one-time perpetual license. The annual or monthly subscription fee for a SaaS model will typically include the software license, support, and most other fees.
1. SaaS solutions will save you money
SaaS companies can offer their solutions to anyone with a working internet connection and a smartphone. That means they serve a wider range of businesses and therefore can provide it at a lower cost than traditional, on-premise models.
Software providers frequently offer different product tiers based on how many features you need. Tiers that are more feature-light cost less than tiers with more features. This is great for most businesses because if you just need a basic package, you can save thousands of dollars a year by not paying for needless features.
Additionally, you don’t have to worry about costly licensing fees or having an IT specialist in-house in order to install, troubleshoot, and update your software. You aren’t responsible for data costs for hosting server space because your SaaS provider will do that for you.
All of these things add up to save you money.
2. SaaS integrates better with your other tools
It’s a simple truth that it’s hard to operate a business these days without several different types of software.
When you’re purchasing software, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your tools integrate with each other. The last thing you need is to be fighting with your software because it doesn’t play nice with the tools your company already relies on.
Luckily for you, software companies understand this and many offer integrations with other common tools. With a cloud-based solution, you can seamlessly share data with other important tools your team uses.
If you’re really worried about integrations, you can often find one service provider that offers an entire suite of products that are built from the ground up with your type of business in mind.
3. SaaS will give you immediate benefits
Because SaaS is deployed via the cloud, you and your team will be able to immediately access your software. With SaaS solutions, you won’t have to worry about setting up hosting parameters or installing the product because it works either from a web browser or after installing an application. To put it simply, all of the work is done for you.
Additionally, all your data will be stored in the cloud, so you and your team can use it whether you access the software from a mobile device, a web browser, or a downloaded app on your computer.
This immediate access means you’ll be able to transfer key customer data into a unified database, use a new point-of-sale system to make your online sales easier, or finally get your supply chain management under control.
4. SaaS solutions are regularly updated and improved by software providers
Gone are the days of only having one or two software options to choose from. Building and deploying software is an enormous industry, so whichever software provider you go with will have a lot of competition.
Thousands of products are available for nearly every industry, so you can feel confident you can find the perfect solution for your business.
For example, if usability is the most important thing you’re looking for in your software, you can browse user reviews and talk to your service provider about using the software. Additionally, you might want to ask about how they plan on updating and upgrading their product in the future to incorporate more user feedback for features you might feel are harder to use.
Most software developers have user experience teams dedicated to making sure their software is easy to understand and use right off the bat. User experience designers and researchers run tests with users in order to understand how they can make their product better.
This is true for most aspects of their product. Because competition is so stiff, they will need to continue improving in order to maintain your business.
Because SaaS solutions are cloud based and can be upgraded and updated regularly, you won’t have to purchase a new version and can benefit from those updates immediately. You simply need to install the latest version to gain access to any new updates and features.
5. SaaS solutions are faster and easier to upgrade
Like we mentioned above, SaaS software often uses a subscription model based on different tiers.
What that means for you is that if you ever choose to upgrade to a better version for more features, you won’t have to worry about installing entirely new software.
You just download a quick patch to unlock all those fancy new features your business needs to grow.
If you’re buying software, look to SaaS first
While traditional, on-premise deployment software solutions still exist, your first choice should be SaaS, particularly if you’re a small business. Not only will these tools save you money, but you’ll be able to more easily update and upgrade software while making sure all your data remains integrated with other tools your business relies on.
SaaS is an enormous industry, and whatever type of software you’re looking for will likely have an overwhelming amount of options to choose from.
You can find real user reviews and look at software comparisons between different options on our software catalog pages.
If you don’t know where to start, we’re here to help. Through one-on-one conversation and personalized recommendations, Software Advice guides you through your software search. In as little as 15 minutes, our software advisors can help you pick the right software for your business needs, so you can feel confident in your choice. Click here to chat with an advisor or schedule a call.