The SaaS advantage: Update time

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According to the survey Champions of Software as a Service, 66 percent of leading software-as-a-service (SaaS)adopters find that it improves application agility, making it easier to quickly and flexibly deploy and implement solutions.

A SaaS solution is often considered faster and simpler to set up in an organization than a new on-premises software product. What is less widely known is the actual time spent on upkeep and updates for on-premises solutions. An on-premises software program needs regular information technology (IT) maintenance to ensure it is working properly; while IT specialists spend time on maintenance, they aren’t able to focus on other more strategic business priorities, and neither are their managers. When a software update comes out from the vendor, IT specialists need to install the update, test it and make sure that users understand the new features.

TheSaaSUpdateTimeAdvantage2Since on-premises updates typically happen only a few times a year, they are usually major updates. Each update ordinarily has many new features for users to adjust to all at once, so both IT teams and end users spend more time learning the software than they do actually using it.

When the update is finally loaded on the server and each user has their own program refreshed, there are still some users who likely won’t take the time to learn the software, will become frustrated with all the changes and will end up flooding IT teams with help desk tickets.

An alternative to letting users figure out the updates themselves is for IT to hold training sessions, but of course that eats up time from everyone involved, both in the training and in the planning.

In contrast, a SaaS solution is updated continuously by the SaaS provider. The changes are usually small and easy to digest, and, since they occur on a rolling basis, users benefit from new features without being overwhelmed. Updates happen on the vendor’s end only, so there’s no downtime for the latest patch. Additionally, since new features are released once they are ready rather than as part of a huge update, users can adjust to them gradually, without throwing up their hands and demanding IT step in. This also allows company leadership to focus on core competencies, rather than managing another logistical challenge of business.

Of course, this is just one of the advantages that software as a service brings to the table, along with cost, reliability and speeding innovation. But it’s an advantage that often gets overlooked, and smart business leaders keep an eye out for every possible edge in the competitive business world. IBM has a comprehensive suite of SaaS offerings in the IBM cloud marketplace.

Are you considering a move to a SaaS offering? Or have you already adopted a SaaS model and begun saving time? Leave a comment below to let me know of your experiences.

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