A firm is demoing a software solution for your organization. Just five minutes in to the presentation, your gut tells you this single piece of software is “genius” and will immeasurably help with your enterprise’s strategic marketing goals.
Yet, you find yourself thinking . . . why would I “pay” to subscribe to this software when I’ve got an entire department on staff to develop any technology that our organization needs?
In an effort to manage tighter and tighter budgets and wring as much ROI out of every marketing dollar spent, it’s understandable that corporate leaders must carefully weigh the pros and cons of whether or not to develop homegrown software solutions or pay to subscribe to a cloud-based software service.
Of course, subscribing to a software service on a shared platform via the Internet is the whole idea behind the popular software as a service (SaaS) model. In fact, large and small enterprises across the board are adopting this model as a viable alternative to either purchasing traditional licenses to install software or investing resources in developing their own proprietary applications.
Why? Here are five reasons to forego traditional, licensed software or in-house development . . . and choose a SaaS provider.
Reason #1: Cost
Because they’re already developed, tested and functional, SaaS solutions avoid the costly and time-consuming activities associated with proprietary development and/or an installed software implementation. Typically, an installed solution requires the purchase of the software license or licenses as well as the purchase/building of the servers and infrastructure needed to support it. Plus, whether building it from scratch or installing a third-party solution, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of you of ongoing maintenance support of the hardware and software updates, which are often overlooked.
Web-based, SaaS solutions, on the other hand, are usually offered at a monthly or annual subscription fee that includes updates, maintenance, and support.
Reason #2: Time
A typical implementation timeline for installed software could be anywhere from three-to-six months once you factor in the purchase of the software license, the purchase/building the servers and infrastructure need to support it. However, because IT departments typically support the entire enterprise, if/when priorities shift, so will the timeline (and resources) for your project.
With a SaaS solution, the software is already up and running on the vendor’s data center. All you need is a browser and an Internet connection, which lets you avoid many of the time-consuming and costly tasks associated with developing a solution in house or licensing installed software . . . which invariably means the difference between getting up and running in just weeks, instead of months.
Reason #3: ROI
You know the old saying “time is money?” Well, it holds true here. If you decide to develop that marketing software in-house, waiting months, from initiation to launch, can be a long time before you start to see a return on your investment, which most likely was rather sizable.
As previously stated, a SaaS alternative could have you up and running in weeks and accessible from anywhere, increasing your window of opportunity at a fraction of the upfront cost.
When you subscribe to a SaaS solution, you pay a monthly or annual subscription. This fixed cost can be much more appealing than that of a traditional software installation that has a large initial expenditure that must be capitalized and amortized over the useful life of the software — not to mention the expense of staffing and resources to maintain it.
In addition, many SaaS solutions offer modular functionality that may be added on or eliminated from your service as needed. A feature that is so attractive if or when you ever need to scale your expenses to your organization’s changing needs. Some service providers even offer a metered approach where what you’re charged is based on your actual usage, ensuring that you only pay for what you need.
Reason #5: Innovative benefits
With traditional software installation, you typically wait a year between upgrades. These updates may come at an additional fee and can potentially require updating your operating system and hardware to support them. Unfortunately, this makes upgrading impractical for most organizations.
SaaS enhancements are rolled out continuously and can be leveraged immediately throughout the organization. When you subscribe to a SaaS, your organization becomes part of a much larger user base whose activity and workflows are monitored across the entire platform. This allows SaaS providers to make improvements informed by their client’s actual needs and allows you to benefit from enhanced functionality, user experience and streamlined workflows and best practices across industries — seamlessly.
Still thinking about building your own software? Didn’t think so.