Software as a Service, which is often shortened to SaaS, refers to cloud-based services which users are able to access over the internet. SaaS has radically changed the software market. Previously, software would be purchased and then installed on your computer. However, SaaS now offers a service where the software is rented on a monthly subscription basis and can be accessed from anywhere in the world, through any device, via the cloud.
Businesses use SaaS for a huge range of tasks as well, from accounting and resource planning to tracking and customer relationship management (CRM).
SaaS has become a popular model for many businesses, which are choosing this option over from the more traditional method of purchasing the software. For most, this is because SaaS provides a number of major benefits, including:
- No additional hardware costs –SaaS applications run in the cloud, so no additional hardware is needed, as systems can be accessed from any device with an internet connection.
- Better cash flow – There are no up-front costs because you don’t need to purchase the software. There are also no unexpected payments, with regular month amounts withdrawn. This will facilitate a much better cash flow for your business.
- Pay for what you need – With traditional models, you pay for the software outright. Therefore, whether you want to use it for 10 years or 1 month, the cost will be the same. With SaaS, you can use the software for a required period and pause your subscription at any time.
- Automatic updates – Since SaaS is in the cloud, your team will have access to updates straight away, without the need to install anything, purchase a new licence, or pay more money.
- Flexibility – If you’re looking for a more flexible working environment, SaaS is the perfect solution. Employees can work from anywhere in the world, at anytime with this cloud-based system.
Switch providers – SaaS applications are paid for on a monthly basis, making it easier for businesses to change between different software providers if necessary, which allows for more flexibility than non-SaaS programs.
What are the implications of SaaS adoption on staff training policies?
Although SaaS can have exciting benefits for your business, it can also affect some of the staff training policies you have in place, as you may find that there are more regular software updates and changes. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that your staff training program can adapt to this new model.
Take a look at some of the implications SaaS can have on your IT training plans below. It’s important to consider these points before switching your business to SaaS.
- IT training may need to take place on a more regular basis due to software updates and changing providers.
- If one application changes, it can affect the way your other apps work in conjunction with it.
- It’s important for staff to understand the logic behind how programs work, since they will likely have to learn a new interface at some point.
- Learning should be ongoing in order to take advantage of the latest application features when they come out.
- Staff will demand more IT training and will seek employers that provide it, since their employability will decline if they are not trained on the latest software.
- IT support and management will become increasingly focused on staff training, since applications will become largely provided by SaaS providers, such as Microsoft and SalesForce.
Are you considering switching to SaaS? With technology developing at such a rapid rate, it is inevitable that you will need to arrange IT training on an ongoing basis for your staff.
Consider using online training courses, or flexible training solutions. This also allows staff to learn at any time, from anywhere.
Creating ‘how-to’ videos that are quick and easy for staff to use in order update their skills is another excellent option. After the initial move to SaaS, you may find that these videos are an efficient way to provide continuous staff training as improvements and adjustments arise.
It’s important to make sure that your training policy takes the flexibility of SaaS into account. An updated training policy will allow staff to stay up-to-date with important developments by giving them the necessary skills to use this new technology effectively, making the most of your investment.
Photo: H Sterling Cross – CC BY 2.0