Cloud computing, often referred to as "the cloud", is a technology which uses the internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications. It allows consumers and businesses to use applications without installation, and access their personal files using any device with internet access.
On-premises software typically requires a software license for each server and/or end user, and the customer is responsible for the security, availability and overall management of the software.
On-premises software is generally more expensive than cloud-based software because it requires in-house server hardware, capital investment in software licenses and in-house IT support staff.
Software as a Service (SaaS)is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a pay-for-use basis or as a subscription based on use metrics, and is centrally hosted. In effect, SaaS is leased software, maintained by its creator and not hosted on your premises. SaaS applications run in the cloud.
Here are 6 reasons why you should consider moving to a SaaS solution:
1. Total Cost of Ownership When evaluating a purchase decision, many companies compare the price of on-premises software with the recurring cost of a SaaS subscription. While these numbers are important, they fail to capture the total cost of ownership. On-premises solutions require not only the purchase of the software, but also require support costs that are typically around 20 percent of the license, as well as additional hardware, maintenance and support staff, network monitoring, management tools, etc. With the SaaS model, many of the costs listed above are included in the subscription cost, which leads to a lower total cost of ownership.
2. Resource Costs The annual cost of owning and managing software applications can be as much as four times the cost of the initial purchase. In fact, companies can spend up to 75 percent of their total IT budget just to maintain and run existing systems and infrastructure. With cloud-based applications, the internal resource costs are minimized, further adding to their economic advantage.
3. Quick to Deploy With SaaS solutions, all you need is a web browser and internet access, and you’re ready to go. Where on-premises software can take weeks or even months to deploy, SaaS applications are already configured and ready for use. Using a ready-to-go system saves precious time, and lots of it.
4. Upgrades, Uptime & Security SaaS solutions offer seamless, automatic and frequent upgrades as part of the ongoing subscription charge. At any one time, you can be assured that you will always have the most up-to-date software.
Most cloud providers are extremely reliable in providing their services, with many maintaining 99.99% uptime/availability. In the event that they don't deliver according to your Service Level Agreement, there are penalties to pay by them. Given the importance of customers' concerns regarding the security of their data when it resides off-site, reputable SaaS providers typically offer security measures beyond the affordability of most businesses. Therefore, your data is often safer in the cloud than on a server in your offices. Also, data is automatically being backed up, providing additional security and peace of mind.
5. Anywhere & Anytime Access With cloud computing, you can access your applications anytime and anywhere via a web browser from any device. Flexible working may also play a part in driving efficiency and productivity, as it is often regarded as an employee benefit, therefore attracting more skilled staff and retaining existing team members. Collaboration is also made easier using the cloud, whether you are sitting next to your colleague or are hundreds or thousands of miles apart. Again, this improves not only the efficiency, but also the productivity of the business.
6. Environmentally Friendly With fewer data centres worldwide and more efficient operations, we are collectively having less of an impact on the environment. Companies who use shared resources improve their ‘green’ credentials. When your cloud needs fluctuate, your server capacity scales up and down to fit. So you only use the energy you need and you don’t leave oversized carbon footprints.