What is enterprise SaaS?

Enterprise software-as-a-service is a solution where enterprise businesses may access and use applications over the internet as a paid service.

To remain competitive and meet customer needs, modern businesses depend on effective software solutions. However, between installing and maintaining necessary hardware, configuring programs, and keeping up with patches and upgrades, many businesses find that in-house software solutions are prohibitively expensive and time-consuming.

Modern cloud technologies offer the solution, in the form of software-as-a-service (SaaS). With enterprise SaaS, businesses have the opportunity to use powerful software applications, without having to house those applications on-site. Software vendors host and maintain the servers, databases, and code that allows the software to function, and the business simply pays to access that software across an authorized and secure internet connection.

SaaS provides the benefits of lower operational costs for enterprise IT services, while also freeing up IT personnel from tasks associated with software maintenance and repair. The end result is improved organizational efficiency, reduced operational costs, and more-up-to-date application solutions, to name only a few.

Centralized hosting and delivery

SaaS eliminates the need for different distribution channels, cutting down on overhead costs and allowing for a more efficient, consistent form of network management.

Uniform platform for delivery

Rather than requiring separate software packages to accommodate use across different operating systems and operating platforms, SaaS makes use of a single platform and a uniform client interface; users access the software through the internet and a standard web browser.

Open collaboration and sharing

SaaS provides companies with the necessary tools to control the sharing of tasks, information, and data with other external or internal users.

Recent advances in-cloud computing has made the enterprise SaaS business model a widely used option for organizations across the world.

Reduced cost of ownership

SaaS requires fewer up front costs, which makes it an obvious choice for companies that are looking to reduce and manage their expenses. Economies of scale also contribute to lower costs through the timeline of ownership.

Graphic showing the different benefits of enterprise SaaS.

Faster deployment

Software deployment and configuration are quick and, in some cases, instantaneous. There is no need to spend time configuring or patching the software, as this is all handled ahead of time by the SaaS vendor.

New features are quickly installed

Release management by the host company leads to minimal impact on the application and its availability. Software is always up to date when users need to access it.

Reduced costs for human resources

SaaS reduces the need for additional IT staff who oversee system administration, business intelligence, and databases. Current IT staff can be employed on other, more-demanding projects, rather than applied to software house-keeping and maintenance chores.

No need for additional hardware

Although software always demands dedicated servers and other hardware, SaaS eliminates the need for businesses to keep and maintain said hardware onsite. Instead, the SaaS service provider handles all tasks associated with hardware themselves. Users need only an internet-capable device to enjoy full software availability.

Increased ROI and productivity

The burden of successful SaaS management and deployment is on the back of the SaaS vendor. This increases productivity of an organization that uses the software, and improves the reliability and security of the application.

SaaS provides valuable tools and resources, without the associated upkeep. You’ll be able to distribute applications to your employees safely, securely, and without any configuration with SaaS data integration. SaaS also provides the opportunity to utilize infrastructure, as it can provide up to ten times as much utilization. Manual network management is done by the SaaS database hosts, which removes the manual burden that comes with network management.

In other words, SaaS handles the details while you focus on your business. You’ll be able to provide the software layer higher availability to guest applications on your server, which reduces the time required to build out an application by up to 90%.

Hosted services are growing at an extremely rapid pace, and enterprise-level SaaS has become increasingly mainstream. Many global enterprises now prefer to manage their own mission-critical processes of performance. While enterprise-level SaaS may not be right for every organization, it is an excellent means of cutting costs and increasing the success of projects.

Some of the most crucial factors that drive SaaS growth are ease of deployment, speed, limited expenses, and lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Primary benefits include opt-in features, upgrade options without impact to core technology, the ability to analyze which elements are being used, minimized overhead costs, and low-cost provisioning.

Additionally, top-quality SaaS solutions can be tailored to better serve individual businesses. Customization options aren’t always available on traditional software; SaaS applications are much easier to use, as they offer more streamlined interface options and are designed to be easily configured. SaaS enterprise solutions use modern and open web-based architecture with tools that are lower in cost, which help vendors cost-effectively build out, test, and employ new features and capabilities.

While there aren’t specific standards, there are key considerations when implementing SaaS.

Configuration maturity

Mature SaaS solutions are scalable, configurable, and multi-tenant efficient—they also use multi-tier architecture to support load balancing to allow for more demand in SaaS offerings, and allow it to be supported without changes to the architecture. There may also be the requirement for a capacity for data migration, the merging of cloud solutions, and application migration.

Data security

The implementation phase of SaaS also addresses data security. It’s important for SaaS providers to incorporate robust security measures during implementation to curtail organizational fear of their data being stored off-premises. Elements that should be taken into consideration include: data privacy, data ownership, security patch management, user and identity management, and compliance.

User training

Training options for users need to be considered, as a lack of user understanding for SaaS options can hinder user adoption. This can lead to delayed revenue for SaaS services when pay-as-you-go models are in use.

Typically, enterprise software is software that is purchased and installed on an enterprise’s servers, whereas SaaS is software that is rented, hosted in the cloud, and accessed through the internet. Distinguishing factors:

Customizability

More traditional enterprise software allows the opportunity for customization, as the enterprise owns the software and has options to address their needs. SaaS software is usually less customizable, as it is limited to the tools that are built-in for a multi-tenant environment—too much customization would change the database and how it is being used by other organizations.

Querying and reporting

SaaS is a multi-tenant environment, and too much customization can create a lot of processing overhead. Too much processing overhead can affect the clients who are also using the database—thus, SaaS solutions tend to be limited in the type of queries and reporting for users.

Security

Although many organizations are hesitant to leave their data security in the hands of SaaS vendors, the reality is that SaaS businesses depend on their ability to protect sensitive organizational and customer information. As such, these vendors invest heavily in security technologies, often beyond what is available to most stand-alone businesses. And with the addition of dedicated security teams and near-immediate patching and updates to counter new threats and vulnerabilities, SaaS demonstrates a reliable security option for most users.

Functionality

SaaS systems may not be able to perform all of the functionalities that an organization would require, whereas enterprise software tends to offer more customizability and functional options.

Price/cash flow

Enterprise software usually charges for software licensing, maintenance, and customization services. SaaS pricing models generally consist of a monthly fee for services and use. Purchasing enterprise software is much more costly up front. On average, SaaS costs take approximately seven years to catch up to the cost of enterprise software.

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