5 things about cloud software IT managers need to know
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Technology is the backbone of how most organisations today run, yet IT departments are under increasing pressure to streamline their spending while increasing their output. Implementing new systems can help IT departments to stay strong and keep the business running smoothly, whether that’s a fresh document management system, a slick client relationship management solution, or an intuitive intranet. Undertaking such a massive project can be daunting, and it’s easy to try and struggle on with the current outdated system for as long as possible. Understandably so, if you think your only option is a bulky in-house solution that will take months to set up.
But thanks to the advent of cloud software, implementing a new system doesn’t need to be time consuming, complicated or excessively expensive. In fact, an increasing number of companies are moving key business software into the cloud for those exact reasons. There is a cloud software solution for almost every business technology requirement, from email to project management to collaboration. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers offer a complete package that can be quickly implemented, and in the case of browser-based software, do not even need to be installed on individual machines.
There are times when an out-of-the-box SaaS solution simply isn’t suitable for you. If your project has very specific needs, a bespoke in-house solution is the only way to get every feature you need in one platform. But for the majority of companies, needs, and projects, SaaS is worth considering. Here are five things you should know about the benefits of choosing cloud software over in-house solutions:
1. It costs less
Most SaaS offerings are priced on a subscription model, spreading the cost for your solution over monthly or annual instalments which covers everything, including set up, migration and support. Often, when calculated over the lifecycle of the software, this will work out cheaper compared to the initial outlay involved in building an in-house solution. Add to this costs for maintenance, upgrades and additional staff members that come with managing an in-house solution and SaaS almost certainly comes out on top price-wise.
2. It is quick to deploy
SaaS solutions are ready-built platforms that typically require very little set up, and set up and migration is often managed through the vendor as part of the package. This means that deployment can take weeks rather than months (or even years!) as with in-house solutions.
3. Integration is easy
Many SaaS offerings are compatible with other software solutions which enables easy migration of data from one to another, or complex integrations such as linking your marketing automation software with your CRM system. It can be difficult to set up and manage these types of integrations in a self-built solution, but typically SaaS solutions are designed to work well with other platforms.
4. No maintenance is needed
It’s easy to underestimate the amount of maintenance, bug fixing and upgrades that are required with in-house software solutions. Choosing a SaaS solution takes this work out of your hands and leaves it in the care of the vendor. As well as saving you time, it also means that your users aren’t affected by any maintenance as you don’t need to apply updates to individual machines.
5. You can scale up
If you find that you need more storage or new features, you can simply contact your SaaS vendor who will update your account and instance accordingly and, often, immediately. In-house solutions are much more inflexible, and take time and investment to grow (often it’s better to start big with in-house solutions so you can grow into them, whereas SaaS allows you to start small, only paying for what you need).
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