3February

The Benefits and Challenges of SaaS

SaaS solutions are a popular option for businesses. They offer plenty of benefits over traditional software solutions. But are they the best for your business from a security, data storage, and budget perspective? The answer – it depends.


What is SaaS?


SaaS stands for software as a solution. SaaS systems typically provide cloud-based applications via a subscription model.

Instead of downloading the software to your computer, SaaS programs are hosted on the third-party provider’s server. Updates are typically offered automatically.

There are options for SaaS for a variety of business functions, including:


Customer relationship management (CRM) systems
Accounting and bookkeeping software
Project management software
Cloud data storage
Content management and document editing
Database management


The Benefits of SaaS


Budget-Friendly Options


Many small to mid-sized businesses choose SaaS because it’s budget friendly. There are often be tiered versions of the software, allowing you to balance the features you need with your budget.

The cost of most services depends on your usage. For example, for a CRM system, you could pay based on how many users you have (i.e. employees) or on how many clients you enter into the system. Or you could pay a flat monthly fee. Either way, subscription services allow you to spread out your investment over time, instead of making one large, costly purchase every few years.


Less Maintenance & Free Updates


Many businesses use SaaS because their solutions are managed and updated by the third-party provider. Typically, subscription-based services offer free regular updates and new features included in the monthly or annual subscription price.


Less Hardware & More Mobility


Third-party SaaS providers often store data on their own physical servers. If managing a server in-house with large amounts of data is not practical for a business, SaaS may be a good option.

SaaS applications also offer remote access points, which means that teams can use them from virtually anywhere by accessing the application through an internet connection. Given that more businesses than ever are working remotely, this is a major advantage.


The Challenges of SaaS


Less Customization


Keep in mind that because the third-party provider owns the code for the program, there is typically less customization available to the end-user. SaaS applications are typically more “configurable” than customizable, meaning you can make specific changes to suit your needs, but you can’t change the basic functions of the program. While this can be a challenge, it is also a benefit because it will require less management and upkeep overall.


Less Control Over Your Data


Data that is managed and stored through third parties is at risk of being lost or stolen. Be sure to check the agreement with your third-party service provider to see how they store and secure your information. You can also get in touch with the Alt-Tech team to learn about security and data storage gaps and learn how to fill those gaps with solutions.


PaaS – Another Option for Businesses


If the challenges of SaaS are too great for your business, another option is PaaS (platform as a service). PaaS gives you more control over your solutions. Microsoft Azure is an example of a PaaS that we work with. It maintains many of the benefits of SaaS applications, but with more freedom and flexibility to create customized solutions.


Combine Your SaaS with Managed IT Services


Managed service providers (MSPs) help manage SaaS within your overall technology infrastructure. MSPs can help with integrations between solutions, data management and backups, cybersecurity measures, and more.

There are many benefits to outsourcing your IT services to a managed service provider. Combining MSP services and SaaS can provide your business with the tools it needs to grow and thrive. If you’d like to learn more about managed service providers or how Alt-Tech Inc. serves our clients using SaaS, reach out to our experienced team.


Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

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