Less than 10 years ago, if you told the public they’d be paying monthly for the privilege of a word processor, you’d likely have been laughed out of the industry.
After all, how many of us grew up in a world where Microsoft Office was always just….there; pre-installed on the home PC or on every device in the workplace?
It might be why, when Microsoft and Adobe introduced their new subscription models in 2008, customers were less than enthused. The Software as a Service model eschewed the traditional payment model – which saw users pay for each new iteration of a software programme – and replaced it with ongoing monthly payments; the idea being that users would be paying for new features and versions in instalments.
The new system has since become the norm, and the UK is now the sixth-largest cloud user amongst other countries in the EU. Yet there are still some SaaS myths that many enterprises – big and small – still believe to be true. Let’s dispel a few.
MYTH: SaaS isn’t secure
Year on year, UK businesses are placing increased importance on their company’s cyber security – so it’s encouraging to see them take SaaS security seriously. Yet these concerns are almost unwarranted, and while your SaaS data isn’t stored on your own trusted servers or networks, it is hosted on your SaaS provider’s, whose security will be top-of-the-line. It’s hard to imagine Microsoft or Adobe protecting their customer cloud with anything other than top-of-the-line firewalls and anti-viruses; and if they didn’t, the inevitable data breach would see them lose almost all their customers overnight - a risk nobody wants to take.
It’s worth nothing, however, that SaaS providers don’t provide backups for your work by default. A SaaS recovery service, such as Datto SaaS, is an excellent investment.
MYTH: SaaS is Restrictive
There’s an assumption that anything that can run in-browser as well as on-premises isn’t powerful, reliable or as open to easy editing. The reverse is true; the SaaS-enabled nature of the cloud means massive software updates can be employed ad-hoc and without any effort from the user. Being able to access your files at any time, be it online or from a personal computer, means work is consistent and readily available, and it can be linked seamlessly with any other software in your subscription package.
A common assumption about SaaS is that your data belongs to the provider, and that your subscription only pays for the rights to that data. While it’s important to check your data rights with any SLA, most SaaS providers explicitly state your ownership of any data.
“You own your data and retain all rights, title, and interest in the data you store with Office 365. You can download a copy of all of your data at any time and for any reason, without any assistance from Microsoft.” – Microsoft’s Data Portability terms
MYTH: SaaS is more expensive
Microsoft Office 2019 is a one-time purchase of £420, applicable for only one PC. Office 365 E5, on the other hand, is the a more premium option for businesses, and can cost up to £30.80 per month for an unlimited number of users. For small to medium businesses, Office 365 Business or ProPlus are less than half that price, and still cover up to 300 users.
Nobody can tell if you’ll spend more over your time with SaaS software than you would with a one-time purchase, but the subscription models make it easier than ever to budget appropriately and accordingly. That’s not counting the added value of your secure cloud storage, app integration and access-from-anywhere SaaS functionality.
MYTH: SaaS is difficult to integrate
Okay, there is an element of truth to this, as SaaS will need to cooperate with a number of your on-premises solutions – and few are ever identical. However, nothing is impossible with a SaaS integration plan. Before relying on any given SaaS model, take advantage of its free trial period. This gives you a cost-free month to learn, plan and implement the services you need to cooperate with your new software. Your company CIO may already be familiar with the software API (Application Programming Interface) that comes with your chosen SaaS solution – and so too might your Managed Service Provider who has the expertise to get yours up, running and integrated smoothly. SaaS integration needn’t be awkward if you exercise all the available options.
MYTH: SaaS is Hard to Use
The wealth of capabilities that your SaaS solution provides can sometimes feel overwhelming, yet the power of the cloud keeps everything consistent. In Office 365, software like Teams is essentially a window into the rest of your Office 365 package, and an excellent way to get to grips with the connective and collaborative potential of the software. Our Office guru Iain Kendrick demonstrates all a beginner needs to know over in our webinar here.
Making the most of your SaaS can be overwhelming, but implementing it strategically reaps a wealth of benefits that no modern workplace should be without in the coming year. 2020 will see a number of technical innovations leave their infancy and enter the mainstream; it’ll be interesting to see just how powerful they can become with the power of SaaS behind them.
As infrastructure experts, the award-winning team at Mirus IT can help get your SaaS software implemented.
Call the MTeam today to see how we can help you get SaaS Savvy, and don’t forget to ask about our FREE IT Infrastructure Health Check.
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