Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a web-based model for delivering software. Instead of purchasing a software version and loading it onto hardware on premises , users pay a monthly fee and access the software from a web browser. Examples include Microsoft Office 365, Google Suite, QuickBooks, and Salesforce and other customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. The software provider, not the user, handles upgrades and patches, and there is no need for the user to invest in servers or hardware to host these applications.
Why It Matters to Your Customers
SaaS benefits the end user in a variety of ways. With no on-premises software or infrastructure to support it, in-house IT resources are freed to manage other issues. This also makes applications and data accessible from any computer with internet access, and provides users with an easy way to back up data. SaaS can also be more budget-friendly than on-premises software. Instead of a large, upfront capital expense to purchase software, the end users pays a monthly fee. Risk is reduced—end users aren’t locked in to using a specific version and if the business grows or needs change, SaaS is easier to scale.
Security may also be more robust with an SaaS solution. Software vendors can invest in more comprehensive security and follow stricter security procedures than an SMB would normally follow with an on-premises system.
Why Software as a Service (SaaS) is an Opportunity
Each business has its own unique needs, so a standard Software as a Service offering may not be suitable for all of your clients. SaaS software is now more customizable, so you can help your client configure the user interface or make other changes that better suit their operations. You can also manage integrating the solution with other business applications and help your client breakdown data silos. Look into programs offered by each SaaS vendor to learn the partnership opportunities and resources that are available to you.
Some SaaS products can be used offline, but all are dependent on an internet connection. For this reason, having a reliable network and, perhaps failover to cellular networks, will be important to avoid business disruption. Bundle SaaS with managed IT services and Business Continuity as a Service (BCaaS) to minimize downtime.