Reasons Why Software as a Service Would Be The Perfect Choice For Your Ecommerce Venture
Starting your own business can be exciting as well as a bit daunting. After your initial planning phase is over, your venture really begins when your online store goes live. And when it comes to building and running your webstore, you will see a lot of models available in the market to help you with it.
This article talks about a particular model called Software as a Service, which is basically a cloud computing model, and has a very important application as an e-commerce solution.
What is Software as a Service?
Cloud Computing is an Internet-based model which allows resources, data, and information stored on a single server, to be shared with, and accessed by multiple clients, on demand.
Software as a Service, like Platform as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, and so on, is a model based upon Cloud Computing Technology; but unlike these other models, SaaS deals specifically in Software Applications. So, a SaaS vendor makes a software application stored on a server, accessible to as many clients as there might be.
Let’s take an example of Microsoft Word. We know that it’s a word processor – i.e., it helps us create, edit, modify, and print a document. So, Microsoft Word is a software application, or simply an application which has all the functions in-built, that we need in order to process a document.
Similarly, there is a software application that would aid you in building a website in accordance with your business model. So, a Software as a Service vendor lets you use an application, along with all the in-built functions you need to help you build and modify your own business website.
And just like Microsoft Word here, which you can get by buying a license to use Microsoft Office, in case of Software, you can buy a license to use this particular software application. But with Software as a Service, you don’t buy the license – you rather rent the software application, which is centrally hosted, and is leased by a SaaS vendor.
Now, simply buying the license to use a software seems like the better option at first – it does seem like a good idea to be able to design and manage your application in a way it adapts to your business’s exact needs.
So, why then should you choose Software as a Service over such a seemingly better option as above?
These are the reasons, why: –
One of the most important features of this technology is its ability to cater to multiple customers or tenants simultaneously, but in a way that the tenants are able to configure certain aspects of the software according to their needs.
So, the fact that you would be sharing the same behind-the-scene software application as thousands of other clients, will have no bearing on how all of yours’ websites will look like in the end. On the contrary, each tenant would be provided a service, tailor-made for their business models. Therefore, no two websites will be exact clones.
No Need To Have A Technical Know-How
The other way to get your online business started, would be owning your own software license. Now unlike Software as a Service, this way you’d have an access to the code; but, it would also entail maintaining the software application, which would mean learning the technical aspects of installing and maintaining the application.
Instead, choosing this cloud-based model would put you at an advantage, by letting you prioritize the things most essential to your budding company, like Business Development, Customer Acquisition, and so on.
You also wouldn’t even need to fret over the platform that you’d have to use so as to run your applications. SaaS can be used on any operating system – be it Windows, Linux, or Mac. It essentially provides you the independence over your choice of a platform.
Another important part of running any online venture, is keeping the system up-to-date. Needless to say, to ensure the smooth running of your website, and making available the latest developments to your customers, you will need to keep upgrading your application on a regular basis. In the event that you go for a software purchase, you will bear the responsibility of updating the software; and there’s always the risk of making a mistake or a hardware failure, and your customers could face downtime – even lose their data. Apart from this, you would also need to design a secure website, so that no data or information on your site is stolen, or destroyed.
These, and many other obvious risks are a big reason why so many startups decide to go for Software as a Service. The adoption of this model makes certain that these responsibilities lie solely with your SaaS partner.
The cost Efficiency is probably the one feature, that makes Software as a Service a sure winner amongst all. Opting for an on-premise software architecture, you would soon realise that the money spent on buying the license, buying the hardware to run on that software, installing the software, maintaining it, upgrading it, designing a secure system, paying your hired IT personnel to do all this, and more – could be used to probably grow your company’s core competencies.
Even if you decide against learning the technical aspects of software and hardware installation and maintenance, then in case of an on-premise software, you would decide to hire a professional programmer or a web designer. Plus, as your company would grow, you would eventually have to switch to having a separate IT department at your disposal, or probably outsource your needs to an IT firm.
Even in case of upgrades, if you choose to not take care of it by yourself, you’d be choosing to pay good amount of money to either pay for specialized services, or buy an upgrade package and then install it.
A SaaS provider, instead, would take all responsibility of installing, maintaining, and upgrading our system, saving you a lot of money. Just like before, it was about prioritizing your time to either learn how to program or to focus more towards the business aspect of your venture; this is about prioritizing your capital – which, at a reasonable monthly or annual subscription fee, could undoubtedly find a better use if you choose the right SaaS partner to work with.
So, Software as a Service is basically a model which provides seamless service, is far too economical, and doesn’t require a merchant to be a Tech Guru in order to adopt it. It’s features provide it with a distinct edge, not just over the option of buying a license, but also over other cloud computing models in the market.