SaaS: What it is and Why it Matters for SMEs


How does completing business tasks with a click of a button sound? For many small to medium enterprises (SMEs) with smaller teams, tasks may pile on and become overwhelming. But fret not, as this article explores Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), which allows the automation of repetitive tasks, reducing the burden of workload. 

Information Technology has come a long way over the last century, inducing many questions regarding this new technology. It might be hard to understand what SaaS products are or how they function, but here's everything you need to know about SaaS, including some lesser-known features that can help your business grow and thrive.  

What Is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)?

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SaaS is a type of cloud computing that delivers software over the Internet as a service. It functions as a software distribution model in which third-party providers host applications, making them available to customers over the Internet. SaaS is also known as 'on-demand software' or 'web-based software.' These terms refer to the same concept of accessing software through a web browser, eliminating the upkeep of complex software and hardware management.

Why Do SaaS Platforms Matter?

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SaaS is a cost-effective way for businesses to obtain software since a smaller investment is needed. It's often a good option for SMEs that need more resources to develop and maintain their technical stack. Additionally, SaaS applications update automatically, helping SMEs keep up with the latest features. Other benefits of SaaS for SMEs include increased productivity, improved collaboration, and enhanced data security. 

It's almost impossible to picture a productive workflow without SaaS services, as they automate your workflows from start to finish, from email handling to project management, social media to CRM. For instance, popular SaaS applications like Trello, Slack, and Salesforce are widely used by SMEs to streamline their operations and improve productivity.

Benefits of SaaS Products

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There are several benefits of using SaaS solutions:

  1. Reduced costs

SaaS solutions are typically priced on a subscription basis, which can be a more cost-effective option than buying software licenses. The subscription cost is often based on factors like the number of users, the level of service required, and the features included. This pricing model allows businesses to pay for what they need, making it a flexible and affordable option. Furthermore, SaaS services are often priced on a subscription basis, catering to businesses of all sizes. 

  1. Automatic updates 

SaaS applications are updated automatically, thanks to their online nature. This eliminates the daunting task of constantly updating programme hardware, allowing SMEs to function efficiently knowing the SaaS application is kept up to date on the backend.

  1. Flexibility

SaaS applications offer a world of flexibility. They can be accessed from any location with an internet connection, empowering your team to work from anywhere. The best SaaS platforms are designed to be flexible, so you can access all the features without being limited by your choice of software, giving you full control over your business operations.

  1. Scalability

Businesses can scale their use of SaaS solutions up or down as needed – which is especially crucial for SMEs. When your business grows or enters new markets in different countries, SaaS services allow for enhanced customisation so that you can modify your business functions accordingly. 

Despite the many advantages of SaaS services, businesses should also carefully consider the security implications of storing data in the cloud. SaaS providers may have access to customer data, and data stored in the cloud is susceptible to hacking. To counter this, businesses should ensure that all data is encrypted and that there is a recovery plan in case of a data breach. It's important to note that while these risks exist, they can be mitigated with proper security measures and due diligence.

How to Get Started with SaaS Services

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Embarking on your SaaS journey should be a breeze.

Decide on a SaaS product you believe best suits your business, sign up for a free trial, and start using it. Many SaaS companies provide a 30-day trial period, allowing you to test before you commit. Feel free to experiment to determine a) if this SaaS software is the right fit for your business, and b) how you would like your SaaS to be set up to suit your business needs best.

There are a few things to remember when looking for the right SaaS software.

  1. Make sure the company offers a free trial so you can try out the software before committing to the subscription. This ensures that you do not have headaches from signing up for a SaaS application that does not fit your needs.
  1. Ask about the company's security measures to understand better how your data will be kept safe. Reputable SaaS companies often use encryption and other security protocols to protect customer data. Additionally, inquire about their data breach response plan to ensure they have a robust system in place to mitigate any potential risks.‍
  1. Ensure the company has good customer support if you need help using the software.

How Can I Learn More About SaaS Software?

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The rise in popularity of SaaS platforms makes it easier to find readily available information on SaaS services and how they work. Plenty of articles (including this blog post), YouTube Tutorials, webinars, or even conferences discuss and showcase how SaaS platforms work in depth.

For some of the best SaaS platforms, check out HubSpot's list of top SaaS companies and products to watch. Expanding from here, you may explore inventions similar to SaaS platforms, including Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Container-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, Function-as-a-Service, and many more. Each of these cloud computing models has its unique features and use cases, but SaaS stands out for its user-friendly interface and accessibility.

These advancements make a manual workflow almost unfathomable, fostering a growing demand for greater workflow automation like SaaS services. A 'hybrid workforce' is a work model that combines remote team interactions with the occasional face-to-face meeting. This model has gained popularity, especially with the rise of SaaS platforms, as it allows for flexibility and greater personal responsibility.

Our team at INTERLUNAR has experienced significant benefits from this hybrid approach, and we credit a large portion of our momentum to SaaS platforms. Contact us today for guidance. We can help you figure out how to incorporate a more hybrid approach to your workforce, leveraging the power of SaaS.

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