The Advantages of SaaS - Software as a Service | Descartes Routing UK

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The Advantages of SaaS - Software as a Service

Firstly lets define what SaaS is; SaaS stands for Software as a Service, this means that the software is accessed and used as and when it is required, you don’t own the software, but usually pay a fee to access and use the software. The software is not stored on your local hard drive on your own PC or servers, as has traditionally been the case for software, instead it is held by the company that wrote and developed the software and made available on demand to users over the internet, this is often referred to today as Cloud Computing.

The software is stored in a data centre. Some organisations that develop this kind of software rent space in larger data centres or Cloud stations operated by a 3rd-party such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Oracle and IBM. Most consumers already use Cloud computing and data centres without realising it, for emails and storage of their photos or to access online sales platforms such as eBay, Amazon and Alibaba.

Increasingly, today’s software vendors are hosting their solutions at data centres and providing their services over the Cloud, offering access to their software over the internet via a fee or subscription model. 

What are the advantages of SaaS?

1)    Faster implementation and payback

a.    Because the software is already created and “installed” somewhere a user only needs to be given access to the software and possibly have a “space” created where their data will be stored at the data centre and they can be using the software within a few hours.

b.    This reduces the reliance required on the quality and computing power of your own servers/PC’s a swell as whether they are running the latest and most suitable operating systems. All that is required is the ability to access and work on the internet.

c.    Software can be deployed and made available at multiple depots and locations instantly, greatly reducing the time taken to install the software and the impact on your IT Department.

d.    SaaS enables access to software by what is often known as “the Martini effect” – Anytime, Any Place, Anywhere. After the famous alcoholic drink adverts in the 1980’s. This has been very important in the COVID-19 pandemic, where it has been reported that around 40% of staff have not had access to essential systems and applications during lockdown.

e.    Upgrades of the software are available the minute they are switched on, meaning that a user can instantly benefit from improved features without having to purchase the next upgraded version. Time is saved by not having to roll out the upgrade to multiple locations and the many users PC’s, avoiding down time and the associated costs of implementing the latest software release.

2)    More data capacity 

a.    The scalability and space for data in a Cloud station is unlimited, as you require more storage capacity so more can be made available, almost instantly. Traditionally this would have required the purchase, installation and setup of additional servers and disk drives, the space to store them and the power to operate and keep them cool.

b.    Because the Cloud operators look after security and the integrity of the data so the need for backups is also eradicated. Cloud operators also have failsafe solutions and spare capacity that should a server fail another is simply switched on, even to the point of having whole buildings and data centres mirrored in case of major catastrophes or crashes.  

3)    Lower Costs and Affordability

a.    Besides the savings associated with not having to hold and install the software, nor buy the machinery to store and run the software, the cost to use the solution can often be relatively low too. This means that smaller companies that might not otherwise have been able to purchase the software in the traditional way of an upfront cost can now acquire the service, often paid for on a monthly subscription or per use and thus benefit from the enterprise solutions that would otherwise have normally only been available to larger companies.

b.    Because the software is hosted externally by a vendor, the pay-as-you-go model has the added benefit and flexibility that when additional capacity is required it can be easily switched on and paid for, whether this is additional users, storage capacity or actions within the software.

c.    Maintenance costs are reduced as the computing environment is owned and maintained by the Cloud providers with this being split between many hundreds, if not thousands, of users.

d.    Lower spec’d computers and devices can also be used to access the software as the computing power for operating the software is held within the Cloud computers, meaning lower priced devices can be used.

Conclusions about SaaS

Being able to use the software almost anywhere in the world through eliminating the need for software storage and maintenance at your own premises, Software as a Solution has the ability to allow companies to break away from traditional premises and enable their staff to work from any location, be that the office, the home or wherever. Used correctly it can help your business save time and money. And in extreme situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic it could be the only way to maintain operations.

There is however one potential drawback to SaaS and that can be your internet connection. Slow internet speeds can make the software seem unresponsive.  However, as improved fibre optic broadband and 5G wireless services are rolled out around the country so most locations will enjoy fast broadband speeds, meaning that the problem of connectivity is quickly disappearing and will not be an issue

Visit our logistics solutions page or contact us to understand how our SaaS solutions can assist you to optimise your fleet's activities.