Software as a Service (SaaS) is a model of software/applications where a company has external access to a software application rather than having the application residing on its own servers. You have probably seen or heard of some of the larger SaaS providers. Salesforce.com is a good example.
SaaS is becoming increasingly mainstream, and with the wide array of products available – everything from CRM and sales tools, to HR applications, accounting software, conferencing and training tools – management needs to assess if they too should be adopting the SaaS model for their business.
Here are some things you organisation should consider about SaaS:
- Consider the total cost of ownership of legacy applications
When considering the cost of legacy software applications to your organisation, don’t just look at the cost of the software licenses. Audit the total cost of ownership per person – including training, maintenance, IT infrastructure outlays, the cost of outages. AMR Research* has found that maintenance and management costs can be up to 10 times the original license fees. SaaS may therefore be able to help your company’s bottom line.
- Ensure your software stays up-to-date
The SaaS model provides you with the latest features and benefits, without the cost associated with research and development, and hardware and software upgrades. And unlike legacy software, it does this without the need to for your organisation to plan and execute disruptive system upgrades.
- Perform regular software usage audits
Just how often does each application get used? On-demand services, charged predominantly based on usage, are often more effective alternatives to rarely used legacy applications.
- Make your workforce more productive
Are the user interfaces on your organisations commonly used applications user-friendly and intuitive, or complex, confusing and slow? If the answer is the later, the more intuitive web interfaces of most SaaS solutions today can often improve the overall productivity of your workforce – especially for those staff members who work predominately off-site.
- Ensure your SaaS provider is innovative
If you are moving to a SaaS model, ensure the longevity of the applications fit with your organisation’s requirements, by choosing a vendor that has a reputation for continual improvement in its offering.
- Assess if your SaaS still fits
Moving from legacy to SaaS applications will provide many benefits for your organisation, it is important, however to remember that no solution remains perfect forever. Your organisation should therefore continue to assess whether the move to a larger or more powerful SaaS application would provide a better fit with your business requirements.
Your SaaS provider may even be able to show you other options within their product range. Premiere Global Services, for example, carries a wide range of SaaS tools in each product category, designed to meet the needs of different sized organisations.
-Mark Beaumont of Premiere Global Services has more than 15 years’ experience within the ITC arena.