When deciding to use new software, companies now typically have a choice between how they want to access it – locally or hosted. If accessed locally – or on-premise – software is purchased and installed on each user’s computer. In a hosted solution, or Software as a Service (SaaS), software lives on the cloud and users can access it via the internet.
In the past, accessing software locally was the most common practice. However, as technology has evolved and the needs of businesses have changed, SaaS is becoming a popular option.
While accessing software locally may still work for some companies, there are benefits to switching to SaaS.
Time and Cost Savings
The costs associated with the initial installation and implementation of software can be much less when installing a SaaS solution rather than local. Installation for on-premise systems typically takes more time and effort, as the software needs to be placed on each individual’s computer. It also includes more complex requirements like maintaining database servers and backing up the data, which can make an on-premise installation more expensive.
With a SaaS solution, the software needs to be configured and implemented just once. Users can then all access the single version of the software via the internet.
In a changing workforce where staff members need flexibility to work remotely, companies need software that can be accessed from virtually anywhere. On-premise solutions can be limiting in this situation, especially if the software is installed on a desktop computer. The software may need to be installed on laptops employees can use remotely, in addition to computers in the office.
In contrast, SaaS solutions are accessible from anywhere staff members can get an internet connection – including their phone or tablet. This allows more flexibility and convenience for users.
SaaS solutions can save internal IT departments a lot of time and effort. When utilizing a hosted solution, all maintenance and repairs are handled through the hosting software company – meaning local IT departments don’t need to worry about maintaining and repairing servers and equipment. This also eliminates the need for IT departments to perform system check-ups and back up data. In SaaS, the hosting company restores and backs up data and performs regular check-ups to ensure the software is working correctly.
Easily Manage Users
As staff members and roles change, businesses will need to update who has access to the software. Adding and removing users is a much easier task when using SaaS. With a hosted solution, adding and removing users is as easy as updating permissions and log-in credentials to the software. Companies who use an on-premise solution will need to undergo a much larger undertaking, as new software will need to be purchased and installed on a new user’s computer.
To use the software to its fullest capabilities, companies need to ensure they are using the latest version. For SaaS users, these upgrades are done by the hosting company with no effort needed by the users. The hosting company makes the updates and pushes out to the cloud. When the users log in, the changes will be available.
For on-premise users, upgrades will need to be done on each individual’s computer. IT teams will need to deploy the upgrade numerous times and check each user’s configurations. For large teams, this can be a time-consuming and risky effort as the process is duplicated multiple times.