It’s 2017. You’re likely using some form of SaaS (Software as a Service) without even thinking about it: if not for business reasons, then at least personally.
Some of the Saas that I use on a daily basis include Dropbox,(where I store both business and personal items,) Twitter -only for business, actually!- Slack, where I communicate with my co-workers in various channels, Intercom app so I can chat with customers, and so many others. I think it’s safe to say I use C3backflow, too, but in a bit of a different way than our customers do since I’m behind the scenes.
Why, though, do I use so many SaaS apps? I didn’t get a smartphone until about 4 years ago, long after all my friends and most my family had one. I kept telling myself it was a waste of my time, and then…I got one. When I realized how many things I could with it, how I went about daily tasks changed. I no longer used sticky notes to direct me to a new location, because I am automatically directed with google maps while driving. (Awesome.) I can grab lunch and not be afraid I’ll miss a customer reaching out since I can get back to them from my phone. (Thanks Intercom!) It’s useful in ways I simply hadn’t recognized it would be.
A recent article I read highlighted some of the major reasons that businesses, and not just individuals, are using SaaS options.
What are those benefits of a SaaS solution?
Do you think it’s worth switching away from single-computer software solutions to more cloud-based options? Let’s take a quick glance at some of the reasons your business may want to consider using more SaaS options than it currently does.
What are the major differences between Software today and Software of yesteryear?
One of the most obvious things that a SaaS solution offers is the constant updates. A great SaaS option updates frequently, is able to put out fires right away, fix bugs, and makes small and large updates. Because SaaS are web-based, the wait to see a bug fix go into place is fast. The software of yesteryear didn’t have that option. You’d purchase something, and if you wanted those awesome updates, you’d have to pay for a new version. Um, no thanks.
Like I mentioned – 20 years ago, you purchased a software with the knowledge it was all up-front costs. If it didn’t suit your needs a year in, you were still stuck with the reality that you had spent X-amount of dollars on it. It forced people to use options they didn’t really like, just so that they could get their money’s worth. SaaS is different – you often pay as you go, typically in monthly payments. If you try a Software as a Service out for a couple months and decide it’s not up-to-snuff, there’s no wallowing in despair that you spent several grand on it. Also, many Software as a Service options have different tiers. For the casual user, for instance, you can use dropbox without ever needing to pay a dime and you’ll be able to access documents, pictures, etc from whatever device you choose.
C3 has several tiers, because we know not every backflow testers is out in the field testing hundreds of devices a month. Smaller shops that are more plumbing or irrigation focused might only test a handful of backflow preventers a month, but having a solution that is cost-effective isn’t out of reach.
Do you communicate with your employees often?
Instead of texting, calling, or emailing, applications like Slack have changed how people communicate within a business. People can chime in on projects, or have separate channels to communicate one-on-one. Everything is in one place; you can access it from any device such as laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc. When I remember a conversation I had with one of my co-workers, I can easily search the details in Slack without scrolling through texts or emails. On days when I work from home, I can easily check in with my teammates and have quick conversations.
Sharing documents and collaborating on projects is so simple, too. As a Software as a Service business ourselves, C3 uses Slack for notifications on when a code change has deployed, or to get alerts that a customer received an error so we can fix it immediately. I’m not saying Slack is the only option for a communication software – there are numerous ones you can check out. The bottomline is that communication via cloud-based SaaS offers tons of benefits.
Security over everything
This might be the most obvious reasons companies are starting to use SaaS more often. Your data is secure. If your computer suddenly kicks the bucket, you don’t have to cry because your single excel spreadsheet of all your backflow customers was on there.
All the photos I take on my smartphone are automatically uploaded to my Gmail account. (I use GoogleFi as my provider, just for reference.) I never risk losing those photos. All my documents are secured via cloud-storage in various methods from Dropbox to Slack. Storing important things on a single computer is ultimately foolish in this day-and-age.
SaaS: your business can be better
What improvements has your business seen by switching to more SaaS solutions? SaaS isn’t going away. It’s the method most companies are moving their products to. From Adobe’s software to Microsoft office, things you used to buy once are moving to a SaaS model. Isn’t it about time you moved your business to the future of software?