As I start to pack my bag for the SAAS North conference in Ottawa, here are four reasons that I choose SAAS (software as a service) applications (apps) over traditional services! Here are some of the many benefits of SAAS products: Life efficiencies. SAAS apps work nicely on desktop, tablet, and mobile, which means I can duck into an alleyway and be part of a team Zoom teleconference. This is as much a comment about the product design that makes a mobile a viable business tool, as it is about SAAS (I’m such a fan of Zoom that I’m planning to dedicate an article to take about its amazing capabilities for bringing our team together).
SAAS Supports the Do-it-Yourself In Me. With SAAS applications, anyone can now learn a once specialized process, in a matter of minutes. The grandmother of one of my colleagues who never had the pleasure of growing up with hi-tech software tools and gadgets can load pictures on Dropbox with ease (This, too, is also as much a comment about product design as it is about SAAS). As another example, my beloved Clausehound.com also falls into this category of a specialist service for which a SAAS solution exists. Who would’ve expected Software Supported DIY bespoke legal drafting? Amazing :)
I Love The Convenience and Ease of Software Installs. In the past, a video conference solution would require expensive hardware and a technician in order to be properly installed, or a photo-sharing app might have required a fileserver for storage and a Local Area Network in order for users to access the photos. Now - and highlighting the two examples noted above, Zoom and Dropbox onboard quickly and lightly on a user’s internet devices to offer video conferencing and photo sharing. Many apps will not even need to be downloaded if they are web-based - all I need is my id and a password - the ultimate in convenience.
I Can Afford a Multitude of Tools. Can I think of four things that I like about Software As A Service (SAAS)? More like four hundred! (Which is probably the dollar amount that our company Clausehound.com spends per month on SAAS vendors). Relatively speaking it’s a drop in the bucket to what we would have needed to spend to start up a business a decade ago. Remember when you had to spend $10,000 + for an office network, file servers, email system, word processing system, fax machines and so on? Fast forward to…now, and anyone can start a business and hire employees on their co-working space’s WiFi; store and share documents and manage email and word processing using G Suite; and can use MyFax for their faxing needs.
Here’s a couple of my worries about SAAS:**The dangers of confidential information leakage.** Individuals and companies are onboarding loads of sensitive and confidential information into SAAS apps. Information protection is a function of the careful choice of vendor, diligence to ensure that security updates are performed, and planning in the event of a hacker attack (or even disgruntled employee breach) among others. We have certainly seen that information security has not been handled flawlessly by companies to date.
Solutions that are designed for Mass Consumption, and the Remoteness of customer service. Accessing human help when experiencing software glitches is a challenge for new and untested software generally, as well as for software that is stress tested in business in ways that the software designers may have not anticipated. Our team has been on calls with technical support teams at Mailchimp and LinkedIn among others, and we don’t always get the answers we are hoping for in terms of product abilities. A custom solution would naturally be built to match our company requirements - but would cost so much more.
As an early adopter and frequent subscriber of SAAS products - SAAS North here I come! I’m looking forward to getting delighted by new SAAS Apps that I haven’t heard of.
– Rajah Lehal