As the debate between whether or not we are in a recession continues, most small businesses are looking for ways to stay nimble and thrive. Business owners dance a fine line between investing in revenue generation and optimizing internal processes. Both are crucial as a business grows.
SaaS to the Rescue
This problem has existed for years. What’s different now? In recent years, with the emergence of software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and the cloud, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can streamline their processes without the capital outlay they once had to endure. With SaaS, investing in “a better way” has shifted from dollars to pennies.
However, according to a recent Focus Research Study on “The State of the Cloud in 2011”, cost ranked fourth after security, availability/reliability, and performance as the top concerns surrounding the cloud.
Your Data is Safe
Many small businesses think that as long as their data is in the next room it’s safe. But they are not in the business of housing data. Nor are they in the business of protecting the data. It’s just not their core competency.
SaaS providers use secure data centers that have met rigorous standards and regulations. The buildings the servers reside in are designed with roofs to ensure proper drainage of floodwater, withstand a Category 5 hurricane, consist of steel reinforced concrete walls, and contain precise power and cooling infrastructures. Plus, there are around the clock security personnel and cameras monitoring the premises. On top of all this are the security measures to protect the data sitting on the servers and other necessary processes to pass the SAS 70 Type II audit. No small feat.
It is obvious that housing and protecting data is their business. Can SMBs afford to invest in protecting their data sitting in the next room with this level of security?
The next two concerns of availability/reliability and performance go hand-in-hand. The old school (and I’m not referring to the new cool hip definition—I just mean “old”) way of buying a perpetual software license and installing it on a server (or worse yet buying a new one) meant these two concerns were yours. You had to make sure your servers were up and running and performing at optimal levels. You had to figure out and fix the communication issues between your application server and your database server. Do SMBs need these additional headaches?
Focus on Your Core Business!
When you move to a SaaS application, you can refocus your energies on your core business, and let the SaaS provider deal with managing the applications and databases. It’s their core business after all. Furthermore, when you no longer have to mess with servers and major implementations, what impact does that have on deploying a new solution? We’re no longer talking about weeks or even days (read dollars), but rather hours (read pennies).
How many internal debates does this eliminate? How much more can you as a SMB focus on your core competency? Perhaps, a better way can now mean more top line and bottom line growth.