A strong IT infrastructure is a component of facility efficiency that can often slip under the radar. With this in mind, I tapped the shoulder of an IT industry pro, Ben Hecht of Kokua Technologies for some insight. In this piece, he expands on the concept of SaaS (Software as a Service) and what this means for businesses that have the opportunity to embrace it.
In the wild world of cloud hosting your IT systems – one of the best decisions you can make for your company is to embrace the Software as a Service version of your line of business applications. A lot of companies do offer some form of private hosting for their product, but it’s not always a true SaaS deployment.
One example just about everyone can understand is the concept of Netflix as a SaaS company. Netflix sells software to watch licensed videos on demand. It follows a subscription-based model where users choose a subscription plan and pay a fixed sum to Netflix monthly or annually. With a SaaS agreement, Netflix would sell their software model to a similar company seeking the same functionality.
Ben’s recommendation revolves around the choice to opt to use a SaaS solution for your business functionality that is all-inclusive rather than several vendors with separate programs that aren’t always cohesive.
So when considering a SaaS Product – there are 5 main attributes to look out for when considering your application hosting options.
- The product is sold directly by the maker of the product or by certified partners of the company. You should be able to go to a website and buy it directly from them or by a reseller of their product channel. The product licensing and payments will all go directly through the maker of the product.
- The product being sold is also being hosted by the company that created the application. There would be no ‘third party hosting partners’ in the hosting process.
- The Customer Support is being provided by the company that created the application – which makes perfect sense because they should also be hosting the products as well.
- Server upgrades, server hardware, version upgrades, migrations, all now shouldered by the creator of the product.
- All-inclusive licensing model where EVERYTHING listed on this screen is provided by the Creator by a predictable licensing model.
A common favorite about SaaS products is that it gives you one contact for all of your problems regarding that specific product. If there are any issues, there is no finger pointing between vendors, as everything is the responsibility of the creator. One company is responsible for every single function of your product.
In addition to simplifying the support of the product for your IT department or MSP; you’re also relieving server resource requirements because the provider will also do the hosting for you. If you’re hosting in-house servers, it’s likely that you won’t need as beefy of server equipment on your next migration project after removing your heavy line of business application to the cloud. If your company is hosted in the public cloud like Azure, you’ll notice monthly cost reductions for your server hosting because you’re going to simply use less resources.
Another big-time productivity and cost-saving enhancement is that you don’t have to worry about maintenance for the product or paying for major migrations and upgrades. Imagine waving a wand and eliminating big server projects based around your application FOREVER. Let them be responsible for major server upgrades, licensing costs, maintenance, back-ups, redundancies, application security and hosting compliance standards.
In a SaaS Environment, your company will remain productive at all times while able to work from any secure web browser, or mobile application – so no matter if you’re in the office, or deploying remote workers – you’re able to get the job done. Turning to SaaS provides your company with a predictable, manageable, scalable environment, where you’re always using the latest and greatest version of the product.
Especially in an environment where the office setting has shifted to virtual in many cases, these productivity conversations are valuable to assess.
About the Guest Author
Ben Hecht is a Senior Director of Business Development for Kokua Technologies, a managed IT solutions provider located in Berlin, NJ. Kokua is the Hawaiian word for help – and this dedication to support is the foundation of the company’s impact for large multi-location firms, small one-location businesses, and residential users since 1989.