Where does your business stand when it comes to digital readiness? If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that if your business systems aren’t nimble, flexible and remotely accessible, there is no more tomorrow or next year to get there. If you found yourself having to scramble to provide your employees access to physical servers and other collaboration tools, now more than ever you should be thinking about making the change to cloud-based technology, otherwise known as a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform.
Here are a few key points to consider when evaluating SaaS platforms:
The reality is that given the speed at which businesses move today, it’s no longer practical to rely solely on on-premise servers and hard-wired solutions. Many cite security as a concern, but ask the question: does on-prem truly provide your business increased security, or might it actually be introducing risks that can compromise your data? SaaS software is secured by the same powerful firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, antivirus software, and access controls as on-prem, but surpasses it with redundancy and timeliness through automatic patch updates and high availability. Most importantly, with a SaaS implementation, security is handled by experts prepared to quickly roll out solutions. This not only frees up your IT resources to focus on other projects, but also expedites security fixes immediately, without the minimum 2- or 3- day window your internal team would need to learn about the issue and deploy a solution.
Organizations around the world have struggled in recent months because they did not have adequate access to locally stored files once shutdown orders were put in place. The fear that download speeds from the cloud would be too slow, or sometimes not available, has kept thousands, if not millions, of businesses from moving business operations to the cloud. But what happened when we no longer had a choice?
Broadband and mobile speeds continue to make big strides year over year, and Covid-19 has forced the broadband industry to step up and expand. In a matter of weeks this past spring, the global remote workforce tripled! The cloud technology that so many have resisted has enabled companies to keep their doors open and their businesses running, even in the most trying of situations.
Access and Continuity of Service
Cloud services and SaaS are intended to replicate traditional servers. Loss of access is a concern no matter what platform you use, and it’s actually less of a risk with cloud services when you think it through. Electrical outages, equipment failures and other unexpected issues can cause downtime in an on-prem setup. But SaaS platforms have cloud optimization, server backups and built-in redundancies to reduce the risk of outages and service breaks. Ask your provider about this, along with data on outages and breaks in service, then compare this to an on-prem setup. SaaS will likely come out ahead, with stronger redundancy and back-up plans.
With SaaS, your software is alway up to date and eliminates the upfront cost of hardware purchase and installation. Multi-tenant hosting distributes hardware costs to many vs. one, resulting in reduced maintenance expenses and smart resource usage. These benefits outweigh the risks and expenses of running software on equipment you have to install, maintain, upgrade, and service on your own. The SaaS provider handles updates, patches and critical infrastructure needs, lessening the demand on your internal resources and employee costs.
Contingency and Emergency Planning
As we all learn and adapt given the evolving Covid-19 situation, one thing that has surfaced to the top for many organizations is emergency planning. In addition to getting through this current situation, do you have plans in place to make sure you are as ready as possible to handle future emergencies and unknowns? Moving to a SaaS platform solves a big piece of that, with physical access to your servers no longer being a problem to account for.