The phenomenon of Cloud has brought us a lot of advantages, not least ‘software as a service’ or SaaS. SaaS heralded the first wave of the Cloud revolution – also known as Cloud 1.0. IT continues to transform as we face the fourth wave – Cloud or Industry 4.0 but SaaS is here to stay.
What is SaaS?
Software-as-a-service is a web-based model, which means that software vendors host and maintain all the elements that make up an application – the servers, the databases and the code. In a huge departure from the traditional software model that revolutionised the entire industry, SaaS enables us to access data from any device with an Internet connection and a web browser.
We’re no longer constrained to work with an on-site software delivery model and we don’t have to fork out for expensive hardware to host the software. And most of the troubleshooting and maintenance now falls to the SaaS vendor – no bad thing.
So it’s becoming an increasingly viable option for most businesses. Rather than paying for a perpetual licence, instead we pay an annual or monthly subscription fee – which includes licence support and any other fees. So rather than large, up front capital expense, we benefit from being able to spread costs over time. And, most importantly, the web-based application doesn’t compromise on features.
SaaS from Four
Our fully managed SaaS solution makes using our contract management system software – Contract Insight – very straightforward. You get a secure system for your precious data, with access to it wherever you are and whenever you want to, as long as you’ve got web access or a smartphone. Compared to standard software licensing agreements, access is a fraction of the price. Without the need for hardware investment, there’s a completely different pricing model on offer.
We take care of all the management and support for you, so it’s a reduction in hassle as well as in costs. And you’ll benefit from enhanced security, availability and performance of the software – all of which means improved reliability, productivity and ROI.
Is SaaS right for me?
First off, it’s flexible and scalable and can be quickly configured to suit your needs. Here’s a checklist so you can see if how it might work for you and your business:
- cutting edge software
- no expensive start-up costs
- rapid ROI
- quick and seamless updates and upgrades
- easy access wherever you are, whenever you need it
- cost savings
- lower technology footprint
- data integrity.
In addition to all of that you don’t need to invest in your IT infrastructure to host the software. And we’ll take care of all your support needs.
Your concerns about SaaS
We know you’ve got some concerns about SaaS. Not least security in the cloud and protecting your data. We’d like to put some of your most frequently aired fears to rest.
Security can be one of the biggest sticking points for any business when they consider switching to SaaS. Clearly, it’s a major consideration when you’re letting someone else look after your business critical data, especially given the amount of data our businesses garner today. But data security doesn’t depend on the location of the server. And typically a web-based system has more security measures in place than an on-site one. As a SaaS vendor we’re able to invest much more in security, backups and maintenance than most SMEs. And you’ll find that we have stringent security procedures to test our data centre security levels, which are likely to be more stringent than those of your own IT department.
A lot of buyers are afraid that SaaS vendors end up actually ‘owning’ their data. The SLA we draw up for your business will not only set out our system reliability standards, but also will also cover data ownership, security requirements and maintenance schedules. Unequivocally, you own your own data. And we’ll also enable you to export it and hold local backups any time you want.
Customisable for your business
Our SaaS application has a standard set of features but it can be customised and modified according to your specific business processes. And we can adapt the interface, and the look and feel of the program, in addition to developing the data fields and turning on or off business process features as you want.
Public or private cloud?
We can host your SaaS application on the public cloud or on your own private cloud – you choose. The availability of cloud means that its easier, faster and less expensive for us to roll out your applications than it would be to install it on-site. You can host it on the public cloud to start with it and then shift it to private, or the other way round, depending on how your business grows and changes.
The benefits of SaaS from Four
A SaaS solution can give you lots of benefits that you might not get from on-site applications. And our experience in providing SaaS to Fortune 500 clients means that we can reliably address your needs whatever the size of your company. Benefits include:
- low total cost of ownership
- secure data and data protection
- organisational focus on core business
- adaptation to evolving business needs
- enhanced risk mitigation and compliance
- rapid time to production
- superior infrastructure and disaster recovery systems
- minimal (or no) IT staff and resources
- enhanced performance, and security
- minimised technology lock-in risks
- secure anywhere, anytime access.
Four Business Solutions
At Four Business Solutions, we truly believe that business process improvement gives our clients a world-class, professional advantage. To find out more about how SaaS can help address your business, please contact John O’Brien on 0800 6250 025 or at [email protected]?
John O’Brien is the CEO at Four Business Solutions, global business consultants and software integrators providing business processes improvements in Finance, Supply Chain & Operations, across a broad range of industries.