SaaS – addressing customer pain points

Johannesburg, 26 Jul 2021
Read time 4min 20sec
Jacques Vermeulen, Application Delivery Management Software Presales, Micro Focus South Africa.
Jacques Vermeulen, Application Delivery Management Software Presales, Micro Focus South Africa.

Jacques Vermeulen, Application Delivery Management Software Presales at Micro Focus, says: “In 2021, the ongoing lockdown as a result of the pandemic has driven purchases of software hosted in the cloud so that it’s available to everyone, regardless of location.”

Software as a service (SaaS) simplifies the lives of all people accessing platforms remotely. With COVID-19, a lot of people are having to work from home, and SaaS allows the flexibility to work from anywhere, even a coffee shop, making it easy for employees to access the business’s systems and data.

Implementing SaaS frees up organisations to focus more on their business and less on IT-related issues. “With SaaS, you only need a network, the rest is provided by the SaaS vendor. When they need to scale or onboard more users, on-premises users need to look at their budgets to find the money – and then go through the process of getting their hardware upgraded. With SaaS, the business just tells the vendor that they want to upgrade and the vendor makes it happen.”

It enables a more revolutionary way of working and businesses are adopting it quickly, despite the current economic situation. SaaS eliminates the high cost of hardware, it alleviates the need for IT staff to install hardware and software, licensing fees are consolidated and maintenance is covered by the vendor. It also removes licence verification and compliance issues.

Another huge benefit is that administration can be done remotely. On-premises systems need upgrades every couple of months, but with SaaS this can be done more often if needed. This means that the business gets new functionality on an ongoing basis. In addition, if a specific functionality is required, the customer can request it and it can be added to their platform. The business also doesn’t have to worry about security, restores or backups, as the vendor takes care of all of that.

Susanna Rogers, ADM Client Account Executive at Micro Focus, explains: “A lot of businesses simply don’t have the capacity or bandwidth to handle this type of deployment: people generally have more work than they have time. And that’s where SaaS comes into its own, as businesses aren’t always IT experts so it’s a relief to hand it to the vendor and know it’s ready and waiting for them when they’re ready to use it.”

Instead of spending 30% of their time worrying about IT, budgets and upgrading software, the business can hand it over to someone else to manage. All they need to think about is if they have a connection to the internet and sufficient budget. They choose what they want to consume. “It’s really as simple as buying a cup of coffee,” says Rogers. “SaaS isn’t a capital intensive purchase that becomes a long-term liability; it’s a use-based purchase and you only pay for what you consume. Today, a lot of budget is spent on huge IT projects that may eventually become a liability. Instead, with SaaS, you buy for size and fit for purpose.”

Vaughn Young, Client Account Executive DevOps at Micro Focus South Africa, says: “From a global perspective, businesses are deploying a hybrid SaaS/on-premises model almost as a trial. Based on the total cost of ownership, there’s definitely a cost saving to be had. But the decision goes beyond that.”

Businesses need to find a way to gain a competitive edge against customers in the same sector. One way of doing this is to identify the bottlenecks in their environment that are delaying IT projects and deploy the right infrastructure to remove them. SaaS allows upgrades to be done with the press of a button. No time is wasted on compliancy issues or engaging with stakeholders to plan for the upgrades.

Young describes the cost saving inherent in SaaS as ‘the iceberg effect’: “Software licence costs are immediately visible, but having on-premises software comes with a lot of hidden costs that companies need to be aware of. An on-premises licence may appear to be cheaper upfront, but when you consider the peripheral costs such as data centre space, human resources, security and backups, it all adds up.

"SaaS is a pay-as-you-use subscription model, everything happens online, you get the latest software so there are no version currency issues and you can access your data anytime and anywhere from any computer. Could it be any simpler?”

To find out more about the benefits that businesses experience with SaaS, watch this video:

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