Data Analytics: What You Need to Know Before Jumping Into … SaaS

Software as a service (SaaS) and the cloud have been major talking points for quite some time now. It’s a trend that is gradually moving up on every company’s to-do list, either to provide SaaS or to take advantage of it. As we even mentioned in our top trends for 2021 article, its sheer versatility and the freedom it gives is really something worth keeping in mind. But as with every trend, there are things to be wary of, and that’s why we’re here – to provide you with the information you need to pierce the veil of uncertainty. So, let’s talk about SaaS then, shall we?

SaaS – paving the path forward?

Why has this trend been getting so much traction? Well, in part, it has to do with the subscription model craze that’s been enveloping the world for the past decade. In the past, subscription models were used primarily for magazines or newspapers, maybe even food. But nowadays, you can have one for golf clubs, bath products, and, obviously, all sorts of media streaming. So, what’s the other part composed of? Lots of benefits like better geographical availability, uptime, and backups that combined end up feeling like a very attractive package. But don’t take our word for it, we’ll just dissect this trend and see how the pros and cons measure up against each other, so you can form your own conclusions.

Cost: Undoubtedly, the price is key here, and the fact that you don’t have to pay dozens or even hundreds of thousands at once makes SaaS more accessible for everyone. Of course, it might seem like you end up paying more in the long run, which is something businesses fear. However, there are a lot of caveats included in the cost like software scalability, maintenance, and security, which we’ll cover in more detail later. Generally speaking, you only pay for what you use – no more, no less. Still, we see some legacy companies that are unwilling to get into SaaS, and yet, as we know, some of the biggest industry leaders are ones that have embraced it.

However, we all remember the old days when you had to purchase a lot more licenses than you need in order to get a discount on the price, and we just think this newer subscription model may be a bit more elegant. Let’s not forget that with SaaS, you often have tiers to choose from, which allow you to tweak your price based on the features you want. Again, a great option for smaller companies or startups, which is often scoffed at by legacy businesses.

Finally, there’s always the risk of having several subscriptions siphoning money from your account because you forgot to cancel them, but overall, we believe this may be more manageable in the end.

Scalability: SaaS offers another great benefit with it, and that’s the ability to smoothly augment your processes without much hassle. If your company is expanding quickly, you can just get some additional licenses or functionality and meet that influx head-on. However, if your company wants to utilize a lot of data, we’re talking about applications in the 100s of GB or even TB, then you may want to have some on-premise solutions in mind. Most vendors that offer SaaS in data analytics have set boundaries. These vary from one company to another, and some may allow you to employ more storage space or computing power for a price, but not all.

Also, in such cases, you may also resort to a mix of on-premise and cloud (SaaS), or in other words, use hybrid cloud. Just make sure you know which parts of your processes need to be on the cloud and which on the servers. You can read more about it here, but in general, if you have the resources and require more flexibility than your subscription model can offer, then it’s worth considering.

Maintenance: This is probably one of the biggest benefits of SaaS. Usually, with perpetual licenses, most companies use a version of their software for as much as possible because upgrading is often troublesome. However the new version of a software usually provides lots of cool features or fixe security flaws. Well, the software’s maintenance is provided fully by the vendor when using the SaaS model, so your platform will always be up-to-date. In fact, GoCardless has found that 37% of all businesses choose SaaS because of the regular updates.

And that makes so much sense; after all, SaaS means you’re interested in the software and not the maintenance part. When the vendor takes care of the heavy lifting at the back-end, all you have to focus on is the data and the insights you get from it. After all, the alternative is a lot of extra costs, not only for the servers but also for the time you spend upgrading. And all of that for what? Well, short answer …

Security: … to have control over security. A lot of companies aren’t so eager to hand over their data to a third party, and that’s understandable. Additionally, in heavily regulated fields like healthcare, pharmaceuticals, or finance, this could break some industry commitments to keep data fully safe and secure. So at first glance, it may seem that the best way to protect your company would be by setting up your own servers and controlling everything that goes on within them.

However, just keep in mind the popularity of the SaaS trend. It didn’t get to this point by chance. There are a lot of top tier vendors that have sunk significant resources into their security systems. So, in a lot of cases, this SaaS model could end up more secure than an in-house system, thanks to all the top security experts vendors hire.

Conclusion

Well, now that you’re armed with the knowledge you need to jump into SaaS, it’s all up to you. One thing we’ve figured from our experience is that every company needs to have a roadmap to the cloud. Many trends, not just SaaS, are pointing towards it, and like it or not; eventually, you’ll have to jump on. Ultimately, from what we can tell, everyone will be led to the cloud by following the industry leaders, who’ve already embraced the new trends; it’s just a matter of which one your company chooses to be – the leader or the follower.

 

Authors:

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Dimitar Dekov
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Stiliyan Neychev