Software applications that are not located on your premises are classified as SAAS or Software as a Service. SAAS solutions are typically easier to implement than on-premise applications—but they also have other benefits that make them more convenient.
Before you can enjoy everything SAAS has to offer, you need to know how to properly implement it into your business operations first. There are things you need to consider when implementing SAAS, and today we’re going to discuss all of it.
SAAS refers to full applications that are run outside of the user’s premises. It is not a plug-in to other applications, nor is it a way to build applications. It does not sit in your machine, but instead it runs in the vendor’s data center. When you use a SAAS application, you log into your vendor’s website.
SAAS applications are “rented”, unlike traditional on-premise applications wherein you buy the license to use the application. With SAAS, you rent the software for a certain period of time, usually monthly or yearly.
You also don’t have to pay for software maintenance to support it and keep it updated because the vendor is in charge of that. Unlike traditional applications, you don’t have to pay on-going operating and maintenance costs. Instead, the cost of the SAAS application actually covers the costs of the software itself including the on-going operations and infrastructure costs.
Although SAAS solutions are easier to implement, users should note that customization is more limited. Successful implementation of SAAS solutions requires a few sound practices.
In SAAS, a third-party software provider hosts a software application on the cloud to make it available to users. The software is hosted centrally, and clients use it on a subscription basis.
There is a proper implementation approach you need to follow when using SAAS. First you want to define your objectives and confirm whether or not SAAS is critical to your operation. Consider if on-premise applications would serve you better. If not, then you may proceed.
Many SAAS offerings are scalable and flexible. You can configure it based on your organization’s size and requirements.
Oftentimes the individuals choosing a SAAS solution are business users rather than IT professionals—which means they don’t have the required technical knowledge to be familiar with SAAS applications. Learn about hidden cost drivers, maintenance windows that may affect uptime, and customer support.
Luckily, most SAAS vendors do provide high quality customer support that will make it easier for you to utilize their application to suit your needs.
One major concern among organizations is cyber-security or data security. SAAS vendors allow users to store data in an off-premise setting. They also provide numerous security measures to keep this data safe. When implementing SAAS, learn about data security and how the SAAS providers protect your data.
Data privacy, user identity, access management and compliance are all basic measures that need to be implemented by the SAAS providers.
You need to require data protection guarantees and compliance with industry standards. SAAS vendors should provide detail about security levels of data centers, as well as their disaster recovery capabilities. You want to know how your data is protected.
Training your team on the proper usage of SAAS is essential. Every single one of your employees that will directly utilize the software should know how to operate it. They should also know what it is for.
Users need to be trained to make the best use of the software to reap early benefits. That includes the founders themselves. This way, the company can maximize the benefits of SAAS. SAAS provides more flexibility while minimizing costs, as long as you know how to use it.
A clear support and governance structure is required to make sure the organization achieves the benefits intended. If something is not working properly, the SAAS vendor should have a team ready to provide support. SAAS solutions usually have easy-to-use, point-and-click tools that can help users configure solutions, even with little technical knowledge. But customer support is still necessary.
Learn from the get-go how SAAS will be managed and who will be responsible for meeting IT standards. You have to know where the support resources will come from and how IT will work with third-party providers. For this, the support staff needs to be clearly identified for users.
SAAS is a quick and easy alternative to traditional software. It is easy to implement, access, and scale—giving business users a wide range of benefits for a smaller investment.