Although you may not realize it, Software as a Service (SaaS) has become an important part of your business.
Salesforce.com pioneered the online software platform for customer relationship management, and all of Google’s offerings, from search and e-mail functionality to document storage and calendar functions, operate in a SaaS environment. If you check your e-mail through a Web site, that’s also a SaaS application.
But what about SaaS for centralized computing for your business? While that might sound scary at first, many small- and medium-sized businesses are moving to centralized computing with anywhere/anytime access as a way to help workers become more productive and to leverage critical business assets more effectively.
In smaller businesses, the owner or a trusted employee keeps the computers running along with attending to dozens of other duties. Larger companies may well have an IT director or even a small staff, but day-to-day maintenance and putting out inevitable fires arising from the help desk often take precedence over protecting a company’s critical business data.
As more companies become comfortable with the SaaS model, centralizing data center operations makes business sense and financial sense, too.
Here are three reasons why centralized data storage may be the answer for your business:
1. Your IT staff can spend more of their time performing value-added functions to expand business opportunities like data mining and analytics instead of manual computer updates.
2. Employees can work from anywhere there’s an Internet connection.
3. Centralized computing means less hardware and utility costs associated with a data storage room.
What’s more, virtually all software can operate in a SaaS environment, saving a company up to 50% of IT operating costs—not to mention cost savings on office rent through the need for fewer workstations (see previous column on hot desking).
Who could have imagined 15 years ago that any company hoping to stay in business needed a Web site? Likewise, centralized computing represents the next wave of IT functionality that could well separate the vibrant, profitable companies from the average.