What is Software as a Service?
Should You Consider Cloud-Based Software Programs for Your Business? I think so.
Software as a service
It used to be a ritual. I would buy a new computer for my company, then I’d shell out another $400ish for Microsoft Office Professional. As computer hardware prices dropped lower and lower, I ended up spending more for the various programs I needed than for the computer to run the programs. That old model is changing, though, and I for one am glad.
Cloud-based software, sometimes known as “software as a service,” or SaaS, has been around for a while, but it’s become the dominant software distribution model in the past few years. Basically, cloud-based software is a business model that uses licensing and monthly fees to allow the users to have access to using the software on the owners’ servers. The user will access the software using a special URL, username and password. As long as the user pays their monthly fee, they keep the software.
There are many reasons you should consider using cloud-based software—here are eight of them.
- Automatic Updates Included – No more having to pay a large fee to upgrade outdated software. Now the upgrades happen anytime they’re needed without you worrying about them at all. It all happens seamlessly within the cloud-based system and you don’t even have to give it a thought.
- Work from Anywhere – You are no longer tied to your desktop where the software is loaded. Now you and your staff can literally work from anywhere, often using many different types of devices. Location is now only limited to having a device and internet connection.
- Scale Up or Down as Needed – Start small and build it bigger. You can even downgrade when needed during slow seasons. Most cloud-based software programs allow you to upgrade and downgrade easily without affecting the functionality of the software.
- Smaller Start-Up Costs – A small business can get started with fully functional software that they need for a lot lower cost. They used to have to spend thousands to get started with the same software, whilst now that can literally cost less than 100 dollars.
- Allows You to Globalize Your Business – You are no longer limited to hiring people in your geographical area. Now you can hire the best talent across the globe. They can sign into your system with their own device, using their own internet connection, thus giving you many more options than you had in the past.
- Lower Training Costs – Most cloud-based software programs offer their own training, so users can sign on and watch videos already created and send messages to the helpdesk on their own without your involvement.
- More User Friendly – They want many people to use it, so they need to make it user friendly. Most cloud-based software programs are designed with well laid out navigation, and some even let you change it to suit your own needs. Typically, you can use what you want, and hide what you don’t.
- Fewer IT Requirements – You don’t have to have any IT on staff to help you manage cloud-based software programs. What’s more, you can find cloud-based solutions even for software you’re used to and that used to have to be installed natively, such as MS Office with their Office 365 solution or Adobe with their Creative Cloud option.
Cloud-based software programs have been a game changer for my businesses and are a great option to consider using in your business. Another little-known benefit is the ability to write off 100 percent of the cost of software subscriptions. When you pay monthly for anything such as rental furniture or software subscriptions, you can deduct 100 percent, whereas if you buy it outright you have to count it as an asset depreciate. (Do check with your tax advisor for current rules.)
Have you jumped into the world of cloud-based programs? Feel free to share your experience below.