Cloud technology plays a significant role in modern business. As the cloud evolves and improves, so does the willingness of many businesses to give up their on-premises solutions in favor of Software as a Service (SaaS) and Communications as a Service (CaaS).
SaaS has its benefits, but it is not necessarily the right tool for every business. Following are factors that every small to medium-sized business (SMB) should consider before making the switch.
Cost is one of the major factors to consider when it comes to choosing a SaaS solution. Between the costs of installation, equipment purchases, and licensing and the continuous costs of maintenance and upkeep, on-premises solutions often represent an unfavorably expensive option to many businesses.
On the other hand, SaaS solutions don’t require any on-site equipment, nor do they need in-house management. SaaS systems can also be easily scaled up to accommodate growth – a boon for many small businesses.
Although SMBs tend to be more sensitive to upfront costs, the total cost of ownership for enterprise-level businesses may not be as noticeable when comparing cloud-based SaaS with on-premises solutions. As a result, it’s important for businesses to consider the upfront and recurring costs of both.
Disaster recovery is another important factor to consider when choosing a SaaS solution. Unlike on-premises solutions, SaaS applications and services are cloud-driven, meaning that a natural disaster or unplanned outage won’t result in any data losses or service interruptions. This can be a major benefit for a company whose business model depends on steady, uninterrupted service.
On-premises solutions often require an in-house team to handle various aspects of support and management, including routine maintenance and software upgrades. Businesses that don’t have their own IT teams usually rely on outside vendors for those functions. Cloud-based solutions, on the other hand, are often maintained and managed by the service provider.
As a cloud-based solution, SaaS often comes with its own technical support. However, the level of support offered may vary depending on the client’s budget. This usually ranges from email-only support at lower price points to 24/7 live support at higher price points.
Although flexibility is a key selling point for SaaS applications, many providers still favor lengthy contracts that lock clients into long-term service in exchange for more favorable pricing. If a company becomes dissatisfied with their SaaS provider in the middle of a three-year contract, the company may not be able to cancel without incurring penalties.
It’s important for businesses to study contract terms carefully before committing to any SaaS solution. An ideal contract is one that allows businesses to readily adapt whenever their needs and overall business trends change.
The decision to adopt cloud-based communications solutions shouldn’t be taken lightly. What works for one company may not be ideal for another, which is why any SaaS solution should be carefully vetted to insure that it’s an ideal fit for a business’s unique needs. To learn more about how SaaS can benefit business operations, contact ROI Networks today.