The question of security does not have a satisfying answer but it would be folly to set aside the topic of SaaS for another day. A head-in-the-sand approach will only lead to frustration and disrepair, because SaaS is somewhat inevitable. Ad-hoc software implementations are already sprouting throughout organisations on an as-needed basis. According to a recent industry survey, 43 percent of businesses report that their employees are using cloud services independently of the IT department. And if it does not happen at the unit level, it will happen at the individual level.
Employees will use Skype, Facebook or Yahoo Mail, if not on their company issued laptops, on their personal iPhones. It is less a matter of IT policy than a simple matter of fact. Businesses must do their utmost to stay atop developing technology.
Ubiquitous high speed Internet and mobile access have brought global change to the office paradigm. Whereas managers were previously tethered to their desks, and their IT interactions had a limited online component, managers today persistently use network technology to understand and engage their businesses.
Technology has penetrated so many facets of business and life that mobility is the predominant assumption. Processes and activities hinge on collaboration made possible by always-on networking technology. SaaS is the logical extension of this line of innovation. Successful businesses will be those which stay atop SaaS deployment and proactively seek to facilitate greater employee collaboration.
Six benefits of SaaS for SMEs
SaaS allows SMEs to gain access to the functionality that had previously been available only to larger enterprises with deep pockets. With the need for capital outlay and up-front costs eliminated, any organisation can pay a subscription and receive enterprise-class applications as a service. SaaS provides additional benefits to SMEs, including the following six:
Low financial risk
There is no upfront IT infrastructure or technology development investment and the recurring costs are predictable. There are no hidden costs for upgrades or maintenance; these are all included in the subscription. Also, there isn't a huge sunk cost. After the subscription or contract period ends, the customer is free to terminate.
Today's competitive organisations can't afford lengthy and complex projects. Most SaaS instances can be provisioned in minutes and be quickly configured with branding, process flows, additional fields, reports and other settings.
Many SaaS vendors provide tiered pricing for different levels of support and service agreements. This way, you can choose the best package without paying for more or receiving less than you need.
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