IT expert in a blue suit is pressing a glowing SaaS symbol

Reducing IT costs and responsibilities, while maintaining a quality computer system to support a business, makes up for an attractive management goal. While some managers seem reluctant to embrace the SaaS model, others have already adopted it.

Based on the August 2016 survey of Computer Economics, about 60% of their respondents reported having already integrated SaaS to their businesses. It further reports that investments remain high, and that adoption rates will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. The experts at SourceDay explain that for many businesses in manufacturing and distribution, they have used SaaS to automate the purchase order management processes.

But what exactly is SaaS? SaaS or Software as a Service model is a way of delivery using software. Clients can access date from any device with a browser and Internet connection. In this setup, a company subscribes to a web-based application of a third-party vendor who will host and maintain the server, database and code.

The subscribing company thereby effectively outsources a significant number of IT responsibilities like troubleshooting to the vendor. It also eliminates expensive upfront costs as it discards the need for an on-premise hardware installation and software licensing fees. According to a Computer World report in 2014, companies who have used the SaaS model enjoyed a reduction of IT costs of more than 15%.

So what’s keeping managers on the fence? The answer is the question of data security. There is a perception that because of its accessibility in the ‘clouds’, and the fact that data is ‘housed’ somewhere outside the company, the SaaS model is susceptible to breach. But as Derek Singleton puts it, “data security is independent of whether the server is sitting right next to you or in a different city.” He further asserts that SaaS vendors invest more in security and that they usually undergo strict SAS70 Type II audits.

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A practical solution for reluctant managers is a low-risk trial. They should transfer at least one business activity to SaaS. For instance, they could transfer a certain task and automate its process. If it improves a company’s processes and does little to affect it, then the manager can evaluate and come up with a fair judgment regarding SaaS use.