In a recent report on Software as a Service, Forrester Research says SaaS revenues will increase 450% over the next 5 years from $21 Billion in 2011 to over $92 Billion in 2016. See an excerpt of the finding at . Behind this growth, they predict a full 26% of the software market will be SaaS within 5 years.

Why? Here are 5 Key Benefits of Software as a Service.

1. Saves Time. You can often be “Up and Running” with a SaaS software solution within a matter of hours or days. This is compared to traditional software solutions than take multiple weeks or months to implement. In addition, since SaaS software is designed by necessity to be easy-to-use, people using the software can typically teach themselves how to use the product in a short period of time.

2. Saves Money. There are several cost advantages of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) that make it less expensive to implement and support than traditional software applications.

  • Lower Up Front Costs – with SaaS you avoid the high up-front costs associated with planning, installing and implementing a software system that needs to be deployed internally on servers and desktops and integrated with other IT systems.
  • Lower Maintenance Costs – typical software must be properly maintained in order to get patches, bug fixes, and product updates. This requires either an internal IT staff who takes on this responsibility or having an external IT services company to do the work. Since most all software requires continual performance updates and some type of annual maintenance program, these costs add up over time.
  • Lower Training Costs – conventional software applications are designed to be powerful, but often require extensive training in order for users to learn how to properly use the product and leverage its capabilities. SaaS software is designed from the beginning to be easier to use and focus on helping people get up to speed on their own instead of through complex training courses.
  • Pay As You Go – you pay a monthly subscription fee with SaaS that easily fits into a monthly budget. There is typically no long-term commitment meaning you have the flexibility to cancel or change your subscription at any time. On the other hand, one you invest in a conventional software product, there are substantial sunk costs and long-term commitments that make it hard to change even it you are dissatisfied with the product.

3. Always Get Most Up-to-date Technology. Unlike licensed software where a company must wait for each new product release and then install it, SaaS makes product upgrades available the instant they are available. This means you company gets the latest capabilities and upgrades fast and without having to do anything. You simply get the latest and greatest automatically.

4. Increases Company Focus on Core Business. A significant advantage of a hosted software solution is that it allows the company employees to focus on their core business instead of focusing time, money, and people on supporting the application itself. It can take significant company resources to maintain the server, integrate the application, install updates, ensure security/reliability/scalability, collect user feedback and add functionality, and ensure that people know how to use the application effectively. SaaS releases these resources from focusing on a software application and allows them to be redirected to the core business.

5. On Demand Access and Data Security– because SaaS is hosted in “the Cloud”, users can access it from anywhere. So, sales people, workers, and managers can readily benefit from the application while on the road or at home. Furthermore, the data and information is more secure since it is hosted and backed-up by the provider. Even if something happens to an employee’s PC or a company server, the data is still safely stored on the application providers server and database.

Is it time for your company to move to Software-as-a-Service?