The “Why” of SaaS

I received a comment to a post that I had made on another site regarding the factors that would persuade someone to adopt SaaS as opposed to a standard onpremise solution.

The comment came from Charles Verrier and his comments so succinctly explain the “Why” of SaaS that they could almost be the definitive justification of the concept.

He starts off by explaining the reasons he chose an SaaS solution for his business:

Responsive supplier
SaaS providers tend to be the ‘new generation’, willing to be much more responsive and open with clients. If I have a question or issue with my software, I can email the developer and usually get a response the same day – not just a call back, but an actual change to the product.

Of course – as with most things – not all suppliers will be responsive but the ease with which amendments can be made is a plus.

He goes on:

Frequency of updates
With the traditional model (which is where I used to work), the release of a new version was a HUGE deal because it was so expensive and time consuming. Duplication and manufacture of CDs, new manuals, new packaging, vast amounts of testing on different versions of Windows, and checking how the new version interacted with our other products on all those different versions of Windows.

From the clients perspective – the upgrade was also expensive – deploying the new software to dozens of PCs across the office. All this meant we didn’t do an update until we had a ‘critical mass’ of fixes and changes that would justify all the hassle – and THAT meant months between updates.

With an on-line model – you don’t have to test operating system or other interaction issues, you don’t have distribution costs, and the client gets the update instantly with no effort. So updates can happen much faster and more frequently.

Speaks for itself really.

He continues:

Improved communication with my accountant
I give my accountant a direct login to my books. They can see what’s going on in my books in real time, from their desks, via a web-browser. No more “send your dataset on a CD please, and don’t do any more journals until I say so”.

excerpt from a phone conversation with an accounts senior recently during my year-end festivities..
Him: “Can you print me a report of how you came to that depreciation figure in the P&L?”
Me: “Why don’t you login and have a look yourself now? – here’s the link”
Him: (pause) “ooh – that’s nice..”

Of course and

Accessible from anywhere
I can update my timesheet, generate and email bills, update my expenses, and reconcile my bank account from any computer – at the client, at the office, or from home.

A major factor and one which the critics of SaaS seem to overlook.

Backups and Security
The SaaS provider is using a ‘proper’ IT infrastructure with good kit in secure data-centres. Most small businesses have a bunch of assorted servers in an old broom cupboard (actually, sometimes it still IS the broom cupboard!)

My data is backed up and secured in ways I could never hope to match, and someone else has the job of managing it all.

I don’t think there is anything else to add!

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