The Future: Software as a Service
One of the defining features of the small and medium size business (SMB) is that these companies can't afford wide-ranging, expensive and highly effective software products. They have a limited budget, which has to be allocated in the most efficient way in many directions. Very often small companies don't spend money on vital computer programs and software and the business somehow proceeds without them.
But why should the "small" owners be content with small results? Why shouldn't they make use of the advantages available to large companies? Advantages like quality software, for example.
Well, given that the SaaS model has been in existence for a few years now, there is no reason anymore for the SMB not to have at their disposal the software resources of the large companies.
SaaS (Software as a service) is synonymous with terms like "software-on demand" and "leased software". Under the SaaS model the software, which is provided, is accessible to the users through a client program by using an Internet browser. The software itself and the data it uses are centrally hosted at an Internet cloud.
Many computer programs, which are necessary for every business, large or small, can be provided through the Software as a Service model, including: accounting software, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, invoicing, human resources management (HRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and many others.
What are the advantages of SaaS?
1. High mobility
The leased software is available on any kind of device and from any place around the world. Even an Internet connection is not always necessary - if a program is used when there is no Internet connection available, the information will be synchronised and updated once the device connects to the Internet.
2. Lower initial expenses.
The initial expenses for specialized software are one of the hardest obstacles to overcome for the small companies - the owners know that the prices of such software products are high and so they simply don't buy them. But this hasn't been the sole truth for a while. The SaaS model removes the necessity for the owners of SMBs to pay licensing fees for software. What is more, the provider of the cloud software manages and provides support for the IT structure, which saves the companies the expenses for IT specialists.
3. Endless integrations
The cloud programs allow integration with all kinds of other software, including similar products of rival companies. This is a major advantage for those businesses, which can't function by using only one computer program – i.e. all of them.
4. Easy to set up and use
Access passwords, a few adjustments of the necessary functions and it is ready for use! Most of the owners of small and medium business still don't even suspect that the SaaS technology exists and it provides software products with different functions and uses at very low prices. In practical terms this is a revolution, which will optimise the revenues and the expenses, will increase the earnings and will make it easier for the businesses to function and for their employers to perform their everyday tasks.
Most of the business applications have been created due to necessity or demand. If SaaS continues to exists, the demand for different and ever more functional leased software products will continue to increase.
It is unlikely that anything better which will replace it or improve it is going to appear any time soon.