If you’ve been paying attention to the market for tools and applications in the last couple of years, you might have noticed a change to a new kind of model. Traditionally, apps have long been distributed the same way — the developer creates the product, makes it available for purchase and customers install the software via a disk or download. It runs locally on the user’s device, with the option to receive software updates over the internet.
But in recent years less creators have opted for this model, instead switching to a new kind of distribution that’s all about offering software as a service. When companies adopt SaaS, they host their product online, often making it accessible through a web browser. This has a significant effect on the way people use these tools and how they pay for them.
Too many businesses still don’t see the benefits of switching to SaaS over their existing toolset. This article is meant as a primer on why forward-looking companies should consider the switch — especially in an increasingly competitive market.
The benefits of using SaaS
The move to an online environment for software comes with a lot of changes that make it easier, safer and more productive to use.
One of the most visible differences is the way SaaS runs on people’s devices. Instead of depending on the local infrastructure of a device — for example a Windows desktop computer — the service is distributed over the internet, where it’s hosted on a central server. This means that regardless of how you access the service, everyone will always be using the latest and greatest version.
The benefits of automatically staying up-to-date are manifold — for example, all employees will always have access to newly-added features right when they’re released. More importantly, if security issues pop up fixes can be deployed to all instances of the software immediately, instead of having to wait for all individual users to update their software version.
Easy compatibility with all devices
Most SaaS tools are built on the web, which means they’re easily accessible from any device with a web browser. From a desktop computer that means you just visit a specific website and the entire application pops up, ready to use.
For mobile devices like tablets and smartphones the developers will often release a separate app for the specific platform, but because the software is based on common web technology it’ll be easy to create and maintain.
The times of having to pay hundreds of dollars for one single piece of software are over. Applications that took a lot of time and people to develop have always been able to command a higher price — take for example Adobe’s Photoshop, that you used to be able to only buy outright for a hefty fee. Today it’s much easier to get started with the app, as you can get monthly access for as little as $20 per month. Not only does this make it much more approachable for companies with strict budgets, it also makes it possible to use the software on an ad-hoc basis for short-term projects.
Easily customizable per client
Something that’s especially interesting for enterprise organisations is that SaaS platforms are often made to be modular. This means that if certain features aren’t necessary for the team that’s going to be using the product they can just be turned off. This makes it easy to create a bespoke product for different use cases, meaning teams will have a more focused experience when using the product.
Because SaaS products are never installed on a user’s computer but only accessed on a server, there’s a significant increase in security. A local version of a program can be tampered with — for example by tricking users to install a malicious version of the software. This is much harder to achieve when the app is hosted on a central server, because it’s checked rigorously for any security errors by the development team and the company’s servers are better protected against attacks than a consumer device.
Better customer support
Web-based SaaS products are incredibly flexible, making it easy to implement great customer support by integrating a chat tool right in the web page. This way, if anyone has a question they don’t need to ask the IT department — instead, they just send a quick message to the product’s support team.
Also, because web-based apps make it so easy to switch, having stellar customer support can be a huge differentiator — because of this, most SaaS products have people on call 24/7 to help with anything.
Get all the benefits of using SaaS with Rydoo
When we built Rydoo we didn’t just want it to be the best travel and expense management platform — we wanted to turn the market on its head. By offering the flexibility, security and ease-of-use of a SaaS product and combining it with a powerful feature set, we’ve created a travel and expense suite unlike any other.
Take advantage of everything that makes SaaS great by using Rydoo. It’s easy to get started — just sign up for our free trial and let us convince you.
Originally published , modified