Since the idea of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has been around for quite a few years, the benefits have become pretty well known. The SaaS proponents stand behind the lower cost of entry, the speed of implementation and availability of the software (not installed). I wanted to dig a little deeper and take a look at some of the lesser known benefits of the Software-as-a-Service model.
Many small to medium sized business don't have internal IT staff, which makes them a perfect candidate for SaaS adoption. In the world of web content management systems, an often-used alternative to SaaS is the Open Source platform (Joomla, Drupal, Wordpress ,etc). While these programs have their place in the market, they are often written for "geeks" by "geeks". We have helped numerous companies and organizations migrate away from these platforms after they have become frustrated with their supposedly "easy-to-use" open source system. Without internal IT staff, simplicity should become a major factor in the decision making process.
If you do have the luxury of having an in-house IT staff, they are probably strapped for time and bogged down with multiple duties. Off-loading some of the workload of maintaining a web hosting server and a website is a quick, and usually cost-effective way, to make your IT staff more effective. Utilizing an easy-to-use, SaaS content management system allows your marketing staff to take control of the most powerful marketing tool at your disposal, your website. Keeping your IT staff out of your marketing efforts is essential to your online success.
SaaS products can be quickly and easily patched and upgraded by the company responsible for the software, eliminating time-consuming maintenance for the customer. Because SaaS products are built around one central core, applying a patch to it remedies any problems that may be occurring for all of the users. There is no need to worry about software versioning, expensive updates, or in-house hardware problems.
Because SaaS products are web-based, users typically latch onto them faster than installed software. We all use the Internet every day, whether it be for browsing, shopping, or connecting with people, we have all become accustomed to web-based interfaces. SaaS products piggy-back off this familiar look and feel, making the learning curve much less intimidating.
Subscribing to a Software-as-a-Service platform grants you a free pass to each and every update that is released for the software. You can rest assured that you are getting the latest technology each and every time that you log onto the system. This allows you to focus on completing your tasks, not wondering if the system will work.
Which SaaS products do you utilize? What are some of the pros (or cons) that you see in the service offering?