The paradigm shift from on-premise enterprise software to software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud-hosted applications has happened with remarkable speed across much of the industry. Yet there are still many businesses who are resistant to cloud/SaaS infrastructure.They may feel that switching to the cloud is risky, or represents too large an investment in time, training, or resources upfront. But the fact is that cloud-hosted SaaS solutions can actually save businesses time and money, and provide a significant ongoing ROI.
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These benefits don’t just come in the form of direct savings or immediate returns, either. They include more intangible benefits. The flexibility, scalability, reliability, and security of cloud infrastructure can produce returns that may be harder to measure. Businesses who adopt cloud-hosted solutions see these intangible benefits over time in the form of improved performance, retention rates, and customer satisfaction.
Let’s tackle a few of the key benefits, one by one…
1. Cloud solutions actually cost less to install and to use.
Let’s face it, building an in-house software solution is expensive. It takes time, equipment, and expertise, and none of that comes cheap. Plus, even once it’s built, it needs to be tested and implemented, which may require some trial-and-error that can be costly both in capital expenses as well as lost time and productivity.
Rather than building in-house solutions, many businesses opt to license software on a “perpetual, non-exclusive” basis. This can get pricey, too. Especially if businesses have to pay a fee for each user who intends to access the software, as is often the case. Maintenance and tech support services alone can often cost up to 20 percent of the annual licensing fee for software.
By comparison, most businesses can license SaaS solutions with an annual subscription fee. Because they aren’t housed on-site but are kept in the cloud, there’s no need for expensive tech or installations. Businesses also save on server power.. Everything is in the cloud, and accessible when it is needed.
SaaS solutions also offer faster deployment, since businesses don’t have to install software into each machine one-at-a-time. Maintenance and upgrades are easy, too. No need to install patches. Updates and bug fixes are rolled out by the vendor and happen across the code base, without the need for end-users to do anything besides power up their machines and get to work.
2. Software-as-a-service offers improved scalability and flexibility.
Adding another dozen workstations at the home office? Need to onboard a laptop, tablet, or smartphone before that next site inspection or business trip? When everything is on the cloud, it’s easy to scale infrastructure up or down to meet the changing needs of any business.
Software resources are available round-the-clock. Most vendors guarantee uptime of around 99.9 percent, barring “superior force” instances such as internet outages or natural disasters. There’s no need to buy new copies of the software or licenses for each new device. And documents and data can be accessed from anywhere, by anyone who needs them.
Cloud infrastructure meets a growing demand for mobility in the workforce by allowing work to happen from anywhere, whenever it’s needed. SaaS solutions empower companies to easily scale their infrastructure to meet any challenge or need.
3. SaaS providers deliver more robust security than non-cloud-based solutions.
One of the biggest concerns that we hear from companies about doing business in the cloud has to do with security. That makes sense; after all, data security is a major concern for businesses today. No one wants to be the company whose sensitive data is stolen or compromised due to security breaches and cyber attacks.
Also, cloud-based infrastructure just feels less safe, from a kind of “gut feeling” perspective. It seems like the data is just “floating around” out there, with nothing that you can see to protect it. This makes many business owners uncomfortable. Yet the fact is that most cloud-based data infrastructures are actually more secure than their in-house counterparts.
SaaS vendors are uniquely aware both of the dangers associated with lax data security and the misconceptions that surround cloud infrastructure. To this end, they layer in added digital security measures to help mitigate risk and protect data at every stage of the enterprise. This is especially true in comparison to smaller companies that may not have large budgets for IT support and implementation.
This added security, which includes intrusion detection and prevention, firewalls, DNS and security audits, actually makes in-house servers and digital storage more secure, too.
For ROI, scalability, reliability, and business continuity, SaaS is hard to beat.
These are just a few of the most significant benefits that come with SaaS adoption. Others include continuity both from one site to another and also across multiple updates and business restructuring.
Just because your business is moving to a new and bigger office doesn’t mean that there should be an interruption in your software performance. With cloud-hosted SaaS solutions, there won’t be.