SaaS (Software as a Service) has grown to become the world’s most popular software delivery model, and it has been used by big software companies around the world which includes; Microsoft, Google, and Amazon Web Services, among others. But why has software companies in Africa, especially Nigeria which is seen as a tech-oriented country, with a high increase in startups, yet to embrace these new model? what is it about SaaS that makes it not thrive in the Nigerian software ecosystem?
The introduction of SaaS
When the concept was first introduced in the early 21st century, issues like consistency, performance, and data security were the major concerns among end users, as questions were asked about its dependencies over licensed software with a one-time fee.
However, once these issues had been sorted out, the adoption rate of the end users increased, and it became clear that SaaS was here to stay, and has now proven over time to be beneficial for both the producers of these services and the end users. The commercial benefits outgrew concerns across most industries, except for those subject to highly regulated constraints. And as the model grew, so did its usage and adoption.
The Benefits of Saas
Here are reasons why the Saas model should be adopted
The typical SaaS customer can enjoy plenty of financial benefits from using SaaS compared to traditional software. There is a manageable, predictable subscription cost that includes every aspect of service delivery, hosting, support, upgrades, and more. The low costs are inherited from the fact that the service provider is able to share their hardware, testing, and delivery costs across a large user base.
For a growing business, the ability to quickly scale usage up and down without having to worry about spinning up new servers or adding storage is a key benefit. Scalability not only plays a key part in the strategic planning of a business but can of course also offer a competitive advantage. In an ever-fluctuating marketplace, SaaS helps organizations grow – and shrink – quickly.
Perhaps the most important benefit of SaaS is the simplicity of adoption, delivery, and usage. As the software is delivered online, the business doesn’t have to worry about things like installing, upgrading, or supporting the application; the user can just access it using a web browser from any location. In many cases, this means that there’s no need for an in-house IT function to manage the application, which helps to keep the organization streamlined.
Another reason why SaaS has become so popular is the rise of flexible working. The easier it is for the business to offer employees the ability to work remotely, the more they will allow them to do so. But it’s not only about convenience for staff. SaaS flexibility can also bring savings in many forms for the business, such as reducing the number of fixed office workstations and servers. Once people can access their business-critical applications from their laptops, phones, and tablets, the whole concept of ‘office work’ evolves into a virtual business environment.
Most mainstream SaaS products on the market today have a level of security that would be very expensive to achieve independence for a locally installed application. They often run across separate data center locations that replicate the data and provide full redundancy in case one of them goes down. They provide continuous data backups, the latest security protocols, and service level agreements for uptime. Also, as data confidentiality is a growing area of concern, most cloud data centers now provide complete separation of data to satisfy stringent data privacy policies. While security was a roadblock for SaaS adoption for many years, this is now changing as the technology can cater to tougher demands and regulations.
SaaS removes the worry
Most modern businesses want to work with a suite of applications that don’t require them to have their own backups, storage, and server rooms on site. They prefer not to have to worry about keeping their data safe in case of fire or flood at the office. SaaS offers the ability to remove that concern.
Is Saas risk-free?
This of course doesn’t mean that SaaS doesn’t come with its own risks and challenges. The risk of unauthorized access is just as real – and hackers can target businesses, blocking their access to critical systems online. However, SaaS providers are constantly improving their security processes and individuals are becoming increasingly aware of keeping their devices safe and locked.
One thing’s for sure: SaaS will continue to grow as more startups adopt this software delivery model.