What is “SaaS” and Why You Should Know About IT

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By Bob Milliken

Would you like to completely eliminate the cost and hassle of upgrades, patches, and other support issues associated with Microsoft Office, e-mail, and other applications you use?

Do you dread the outlay of cash every time you need to upgrade Microsoft Office, purchase new applications, or when you add a new PC to the network?

Would you like to be able to access your e-mail, database, and other applications while on the road without having to deal with synchronization problems once you get back to the office?

SaaS is geek-speak for “software as a service” and it’s quickly growing in popularity for companies who want to offload the heavy costs of installing and maintaining a computer network.

Until recently, companies purchased software and then ran their applications on their own servers and computers. As you know from experience, this leaves the entire responsibility (and cost) of upgrades, troubleshooting, security, and maintenance up to you.

With the new SaaS model, you don’t pay to own the software—you only pay to use it via the Internet – THEY take care of all maintenance, scalability, disaster recovery, security, upgrades, and more. And since you are only renting the application you only pay a small fraction of what it would cost to purchase, install, and maintain the software on your own.

Why are so many business owners opting for SaaS instead of the traditional network model?

Low Cost of Entry and No Heavy Annual License Fees. SaaS is delivered on a subscription basis, usually billed in a per-user, per month basis.

No Maintenance Costs or Hassles. You offload the need to support, secure, and upgrade the PCs and servers in your office. All maintenance is done by the SaaS provider.

Drastically Lowered Hardware Costs. You can use the most up-to-date applications on older and less powerful PCs without any negative effect on speed or performance of the application. This eliminates the heavy costs of upgrading aging technology and protects you from expense spikes.

 No Expensive Commitments. Under the “pay as you go” model of SaaS, you can buy an application for two employees and then after a few months, give access to an entire department. Plus, if you find out you don’t like a particular application, you simply cancel that service without penalty.

Improved Security. Software as a service providers are in the business of providing uninterrupted, reliable services. They know that data must be backed up religiously, and information security is a fanatic priority. Skilled technicians, network redundancies, stand-by power, up-to-date security and intrusion detection are mandatory for any SaaS provider, but usually ignored by most small businesses.

Still unsure about SaaS? Don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll be happy to guide you in the right direction. Connect with Bob at TheITguy@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com, or give us a call –604.270.1730.

Your comments are appreciated – ComputerCents@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com