We have discussed how to use Security and Privacy as a Competitive Advantage as well as Providing Better Client Service Through Online Collaboration and the competitive advantage it provides. Both of these posts touch on another point however, which is that the use of Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms can help enable this competitive advantage.
Here are three ways that SaaS products provide organizations a competitive advantage over their counterparts, who are either using more expensive self-managed solutions or are foregoing whatever function they serve altogether. SaaS products allow organizations to offload expensive, resource intensive operations to others who are experts in the area, and instead focus on their core competencies.
Reduction of Hardware Costs
Every organization is looking to cut costs and reallocate resources. Generally SaaS products are lean, mean fighting machines. Instead of complex install contracts and hardware that requires upkeep, you outsource these problems to your vendor. Thanks to economies of scale, you pay a much smaller monthly fee to keep the service running. You no longer pay server fees and don’t have to worry about replacing hardware that wears out.
Reallocation of Staff Resources
Keeping in-house installed solutions up and running is time intensive. Contrary to what you may believe, they are not set and forget solutions. Someone in your organization is spending a significant amount of time babysitting them. Is that time best spent managing internal solutions, when a similar or even superior SaaS solution is available for a monthly fee? Free up staff time so they can instead focus on learning and receiving training on how to prevent security breaches and the best safe computing practices.
Reduction of Risk Related Costs
Complex internal systems that your staff rely on for their day to day duties often require constant babysitting. Consider email. Hardware has to be maintained, software updated and security holes plugged. This takes a significant amount of time and realistically you cannot expect your staff to be subject matter experts on every system you use. Even if they are in the top 10% of knowledgeable practitioners in one area – is it fair to expect that the same applies for all the platforms you use internally? It isn’t, so why not leave the implementation and maintenance of systems to the experts, the original creator of the product? They have teams of people dedicated to maintaining what you might currently be allocating just a few hours of someone’s time towards.
Example: Using Internally Managed FTP Services for File Sharing
To provide a more concrete example, consider the costs of hosting an internal FTP system. It needs a place to live (a server), software to run on that server and a person to set it all up and maintain it. That is a lot of overhead for a single system and that is only if it is running properly. There are additional costs. FTPs aren’t intuitive and that means that you need to train users, hardware has a lifespan and needs to be replaced and the software needs to be monitored and updated regularly.
The alternative is to pay a subscription fee for an alternative SaaS solution. Providing you choose a trustworthy vendor and appropriate product, you will be reducing the risk of hardware failures and security breaches, plus your staff time can be reallocated more effectively.
What SaaS products is your organization currently using or thinking of implementing? Let us know below.