Government agencies and businesses alike are looking to move more workloads than ever to the cloud. This type of approach is understandable – cloud resources can offer cost savings, increased productivity and access as well as simplified management and expert support. A cloud-first strategy, which initially took hold with federal institutions, has bled out to the enterprise sector, driving cloud adoption across the board.
An array of critical activities now take place in the cloud, and software access and use is no different. Currently, the Software-as-a-Service market, supported and driven by cloud technology, is making waves for companies in all industry verticals. But what exactly is SaaS, how does it contribute to a cloud-first strategy and what benefits can it bring for your organization? Let’s take a look:
SaaS: Supporting a cloud-first approach
As No Jitter contributor Vadym Fedorov pointed out, cloud-first is pretty self-explanatory, and involves adopting cloud solutions to replace often more expensive, less efficient on-premises technologies. In this way, businesses are able to take advantage of expertly managed IT resources and are free from the high costs of initial equipment investments and ongoing maintenance.
“SaaS enables companies to shift the way they license and access software systems.”
SaaS resources come as a part of this strategy. In addition to leveraging other types of cloud environments – including public, shared platforms and dedicated, private cloud solutions – SaaS enables companies to shift the way they license and access software systems. As opposed to hosting these critical applications in on-premises environments, SaaS provides a new software delivery model where organizations pay for a subscription and access software in centrally hosted environments belonging to service providers.
As more institutions move toward a cloud-first strategy, SaaS solutions play an important role. This is helping the global SaaS market grow at a considerably fast pace – Cloud Computing reported that by 2024, the market will reach a value of $50 billion, a significant expansion from 2016’s $12 billion in product spending.
“[A]lmost two-thirds (64 percent) of small and medium businesses rely on cloud technologies to drive growth and workforce efficiency, while more than three-quarters (78 percent) of companies polled expect to expand the number of SaaS platforms they use in the next three years, taking the number of apps up with it,” Cloud Computing’s James Bourne wrote.
Advantages of SaaS: Cloud-supported software delivery
There are a few key advantages that are contributing to the growth of SaaS. These include:
- Increasing SaaS solution options: As the SaaS market grows, so too does the number of solution providers. Now, more big-name technology providers are entering the market than ever before, ensuring that businesses can still utilize the software programs they rely on, but in a more cost-effective and efficient way that supports a cloud-first strategy.
- Reduced initial investments: Like any cloud solution, SaaS programs free enterprises from having to invest in servers and other initial supporting equipment, reducing up-front costs. In addition, when it comes time to scale the SaaS deployment, a service provider can easily provision additional resources to match any enterprise’s needs.
- Streamlined deployments: Handshake contributor Mandy Movahhed also pointed out that a SaaS model can support considerably quick deployments. Where a software provisioning process might take weeks or months when done internally, an expert service provider can offer SaaS access in as little as a few days or even hours. This means your employees can utilize cloud-based and efficient tools faster than ever before. Best of all, the savings begin immediately.
- Expert upgrades and maintenance: One of the most attractive elements of the cloud, and SaaS by extension, is the fact that solution environments are managed externally by the service provider as opposed to the company’s internal IT team. In other words, the vendor is responsible for maintenance and upgrades, ensuring that these take place in the most timely manner. This also means a business’s IT staff is free from these tasks and has more time to focus on other mission-critical initiatives.
- Remote access: It’s also important to underscore users’ ability to access SaaS applications from any location and from any device. In this way, employees can still use the tools they rely on whether they work from the main office, a branch location, their own homes or anywhere in between. This keeps productivity levels high, while supporting collaboration and new working styles.
The cloud has become a powerful asset for today’s businesses, and SaaS applications will only increase the impact these types of solutions can provide. To find out more about the benefits of SaaS and the options available to suit your organization’s unique requirements, contact the experts at iT1 Source. We’ve cemented robust partnerships with industry-leading SaaS providers, including Microsoft and Cisco. Check out our partners page for more details, and connect with an iT1 Source consultant today.