Should You Move Your Business to the Cloud?

Why Software as a Service is not only the future but the present.

Virtually everything is being moved online. Businesses are no exception, migrating their data from internal servers to software providers in the cloud. For those of you who haven’t yet made the switch, it may seem overwhelming. And after all, things are working just fine as they are. But the future exists in the cloud, and sooner or later you’ll have to make the move. Here, we explain Software as a Service (SaaS) as well as reasons you might want to consider taking the leap to the cloud.

On-Premise

Up until now, most businesses installed their software on internal servers, located in a closet, back room, or sometimes even a larger dedicated space. In other words, on-premise software is set up and hosted on-site. Depending on the particular software agreement, a license is needed for either the server installation or each of its users. And the organization is responsible for managing the software as well as its security and updates. All of this seemed very secure. Well, not exactly… Now that we have the cloud, we see the sticking points of the previous system more clearly:

  • Not so much flexibility: Access to the system and software is limited to on-site employees, which makes being able to work from anywhere or collaborating with anyone from the outside challenging.
  • Comfort at a price: Software located in a nearby locked room might give you a sense of control, but it also comes with responsibility. You’re in charge of making your own backups and updates—as well as maintaining the server and software.
  • Vulnerability: People get anxious about cloud security, but they often overlook a weaknesses of an on-premise set-up. You are actually open to the most common form of attack in IT. Not to make you paranoid or anything, but it’s significantly easier for someone to obtain access to a computer system when it’s right there rather than in the cloud (think, a computer or hard disk “walking out the door”).
  • Cost: You provide the entire infrastructure. Servers must be purchased, backups made, and hardware replaced over time. All of that is expensive—not to mention annual software maintenance and license fees. . Once grasp these drawbacks, you start to get why so many businesses are swapping the old model for a software as a service (SaaS) provider instead.

SaaS

With a SaaS, also called on-demand software, you cut through the complications of doing it all yourself. Instead, you pay an outside company that already hosts the software you need and provides you a platform.

You use the software and store your data all via the Internet. And rather than fronting the cost of an entire software package and numerous licenses, SaaS works on a subscription basis. You pay as you go—and only for the access you need. By the numbers: A recent survey of approximately 800 computer professionals found that 94 percent used cloud-based software, 84 percent diversified their cloud software providers, and 69 percent used both public and private cloud systems. SaaS is no longer a cutting-edge technology but an established best practice for businesses. Other key findings of the survey:

  • Businesses like the cloud because they can integrate their processes with their data.
  • There are more and more platforms where business owners can collaborate, manage content, and interact with clients
  • Businesses have been able to standardize and streamline the work with new tools.

More benefits

The growth of SaaS is undeniable, with the market expected to increase in excess of $160 billion before 2022. And it is likely to continue well beyond that. If you still aren’t completely convinced you should move to the cloud, consider these reasons as well:

  • Access: Software and data can be accessed by computer, smartphone, or tablet anywhere you have an Internet connection. Users can work remotely and collaborate away from the office, potentially leading to significant productivity increases.
  • Capacity: Storage is virtually unlimited, unlike a local server that can quickly fill up with software and data.
  • Updates: SaaS allows the cloud host to keep your software updated so that you always have the most current version, your experience is continually improved, bugs are taken care of, and security issues automatically addressed.
  • Simplicity: There is no software to install or hardware to set up. Just a computer and an Internet connection is all you need.
  • Greater technical expertise: Not all businesses have an experienced team of cybersecurity professionals on hand to sufficiently protect on-premise data; SaaS providers usually do. Their reputation and profit depend on ensuring that customers’ data remains secure within the cloud.
  • No physical access: Data in the cloud is stored on servers can be anywhere in the world, so the risk of physical access by an unauthorized user is much less likely.
  • Cost savings: perhaps most importantly, SaaS is usually the cheaper alternative. You pay for what you need, and the costs of security, updates, and maintenance are included.

The next step

SaaS is where everyone is headed, not because it’s just a trend. You’ll find that moving to the cloud is not just about simplicity, flexibility, security, and cost but also about offering your clients the most up-to-date, stable, and efficient service you can.