Over the past few years, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry has been booming, with many companies moving over to this structure, or beginning with it in the first place. Gartner predicted that “By 2020, all new entrants and 80% of historical vendors will offer subscription-based business models, regardless of where the software resides”.
However, as with all changes, it can be difficult to adjust – especially when a company transitions from the traditional perpetual licensing model over to SaaS. This can lead to an initial revenue drop which might result in a company not making it through the transition, as previous customers rebel against the new model. But are they right to revolt? It comes down to opinion at the end of the day, but there’s many ways in which a SaaS model can be much more beneficial to a user than a one-and-done license.
We’ve put together some examples of the ways in which a SaaS structure can be a positive change for a customer.
Flexibility & cost
Do you take on temporary staff around the festive period to deal with the additional demand for support? Do you only have one or two projects each year that would require the use of a particular software? Then chances are you won’t want to be paying a huge sum of money for a short period of usage. With the traditional licensing model, the upfront cost is often a barrier, particularly for smaller businesses or personal users.
Alternatively, with a SaaS model, you’ll be forking out a much smaller sum as and when you need it, or you’ll have the option to add on extra users for the time you need them, and remove them afterwards. Having the freedom to upgrade or downgrade your services at will is something that just wouldn’t be possible with a perpetual license. Every license must be bought outright, and you can’t go back and return or trade it in once you’re done with it.
On the provider side of things, the consistent and predictable cash flow provided through a subscription service means that they can focus on continuously improving and upgrading the software, along with giving additional support to customers. This benefits the customer in more ways than one, keeping them equipped with a cutting edge up to date product, and supporting them through any trouble they may find with it.
Speed of implementation
With a SaaS product, implementing it across an organization can be very quick and low-stress for all involved. Centralized account management and deployment makes it less complicated for an IT team to install the software for every user, generate credentials, and get it up and running. Add to this the automatic updates provided when connected to the internet, and the product becomes almost self-sufficient.
A traditionally licensed piece of software however has to be manually deployed and maintained, with possible costs to upgrade to the latest version that sometimes equal buying the software all over again.
As we mention all the time, security is paramount in the digital world, with potential threats hiding around every carefully coded corner. Because of this, businesses providing SaaS products take securing their products very seriously - the accessibility of the cloud is great for the busy modern consumer, but it also means that a threat could come from any direction or location.
If security isn’t part of a SaaS company’s DNA, then they won’t survive long. Often, security personnel within SaaS companies are leaders within the security industry, and are absolutely devoted to making sure the product they provide is consistently secure and safe for all users.
Not every company in every industry is able to have a dedicated cyber-security team – while being secure may be important to your organization (and very important to the law), it’s likely that other aspects of the business will take over until there’s a breach and it’s already too late. Making digital security a priority within your business is much easier with the broad choice of providers, transparent track records, and easily visible reputation that goes alongside SaaS companies.
Customization & integration
There are few established businesses without a program they rely on for their needs, with time, money and training already invested into the existing architecture. The likelihood is, that when a new feature or program is needed for the business to continue to grow, integration with current systems will be top of the list when researching which product to use.
SaaS companies know this, and will most likely have experienced them within their own infrastructure, so they’re built to handle it from the ground up. With very specific customizations individual to your company, there might be a bit more work involved, but as for getting different programs to ‘mesh’ together and work seamlessly, SaaS providers are constantly finding more ways to work together for the benefit of their consumers, so there’s an ever-growing list of programs that will co-operate perfectly.
The list of reasons to get on board with Software-as-a-Service is getting longer by the day, with most common fears and objections being allayed by a little research. SaaS is one of those changes that is here to stay, and we certainly believe it’s for the better!