The advantages and disadvantages of software as a service

What is ‘Software as a Service’?

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which the software is hosted and based on a cloud environment – making the software available to all users over the internet on any device.

What are the advantages of Software as a Service?

1.Software as a Service makes software more accessible

Since the software is hosted online, SaaS takes away the hassle of having to download software to a computer and enables everyone within an organisation to access it via the internet regardless of their device or location.

2.Software as a Service is easier to maintain

The technology and maintenance is looked after by the SaaS provider meaning you don’t have to spend time or money staying on top of these to ensure continuous optimal performance. With a SaaS solution, you purchase a hosting service and the rights to use a software that is future-proof. As a result, the provider is responsible for maintaining the hardware, implemented upgrades, and providing secure data backups.

Put simply, with a SaaS solution, the burden of making sure that services remain operational and at peak performance levels is completely the services responsibility, allowing you the freedom to concentrate on other aspects of your product.

3.Software as a Service is scalable

SaaS products are highly flexible and can easily adapt to changes in business function, requirements and size over time. With SaaS solutions, businesses can reshape their infrastructure and workloads drastically to accommodate their needs without being attached to the equipment and assets that they worked with in the past.

4.Software as a Service has lower upfront costs

SaaS is usually provided on a subscription-model with monthly fees for a specified package which saves you the upfront cost of developing software as a product and the associated costs of maintenance and technology.

5.Software as a Service offers flexible pricing to suit any budget

SaaS solutions are required by businesses of all sizes so many providers offer a tiered pricing structure that enables company to pay for only what they need within their monthly package and up/downgrade as needed over time. This is particularly attractive for businesses who need to watch their budget carefully and are unsure of exactly which features will be needed in the future.

What are the disadvantages of Software as a Service?

1.Software as a Service gives you less control

For some, a downside of SaaS solutions is that they don’t have full control over how the software works or what features are available. Before SaaS, the businesses using software were in control of how it worked but now business owners need to feel comfortable handing that control over to a third-party.

(For some, this is actually a massive benefit since controlling the software is a hassle they don’t want or need.)

2.Software as a Service doesn’t work offline

The benefit of being able to access the software via an internet connection can be a downside if internet isn’t available. However, for most businesses this will only ever be a temporary inconvenience e.g. during a power cut or in areas with poor connectivity.

3.Software as a Service comes with contractual obligations

When you use SaaS, there may be contractual obligations to adhere to e.g. usage limits within your subscription-level. If the provider believes you have violated your agreement you could be subject to penalties, higher prices, or loss of access to the software altogether.

Should you use Software as a Service?

In short, yes. Software as a Service gives you the technical support, access to future updates, and a level of future-proofing that traditional software products simply cannot deliver.

Many of the disadvantages are subjective and can be easily mitigated with proper management.

SaaS solutions come in all shapes and sizes, so if you’re looking to invest in this software option for your business, it’s important to make sure that the product works well with other technology you already have or are planning to implement.

Instead of adapting your business to a software, why not tailor your systems to your business and your way of working. Our experts would be happy to help your business grow with our SaaS solution.