Online, Hosted, Cloud & SaaS are all terms that are coming into increasingly common usage when it comes to business software. While there may not be a unitary definition as yet of any of these terms, we are all starting to understand what the general concepts are and what this means for how we use the systems and software on a daily basis. In its most basic sense it means that users can access their software using the internet.
While no one is arguing that this is not a clever concept and the ability to access these types of solutions is becoming a reality for anyone with broadband internet access, the question remains for most businesses – what tangible benefits are there for me in accessing my software like this? If the Software as a Service model can deliver real visible benefits for a business, it is more than likely to be adopted. If not, why disturb the status quo?
The following benefits have been compiled from extensive interviews with business owners and managers. Consider a few of the benefits your company can derive from Software as a Service solutions:
- Quick Deployment
Hosted and Cloud solutions can have you up and running extremely quickly once the purchase decision is made.
- Low Hardware Overhead
By choosing a hosted or cloud solution your business does not need to invest in new hardware to run these in the form of servers that come with not only the upfront cost of purchase and installation but also the cost of monitoring and maintenance to ensure best possible performance is being derived. Most providers will manage the hardware headache for you and – by offering these services to many customers – they can pass on the benefits of the economies of scale in terms of the cost directly to the customer.
- Flexibility of access – multi location working
In difficult economic times businesses need to be increasingly flexible in managing their day to day operations. Through the use of cloud and hosted solutions the user now has access to their software outside the confines of the office allowing for best usage of time and more flexibility in terms of working practices such as working from home.
- Data Integrity
A key challenge for lots of businesses is ensuring that their critical data is backed up and secure. There are lots of risks to a company’s data from malicious attacks right through to something as simple as a power outage. With hosted or Cloud solutions there is peace of mind that data is backed up on a daily basis, stored in a monitored environment with full data recovery plans and process and also encrypted and password protected.
- Your Time
Your time as a business owner or manager is valuable; by having that one less thing to worry about you can get some of that time back for more productive matters. Hosted and Cloud solutions bring you that benefit by taking away the need to worry about your software and data security so you get back to running your business.