5 Important Things You Need to Know About SaaS

In recent years, big technology companies have been making big pushes to increase cloud adoption and create more software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings. Microsoft and HP have been among the biggest names to champion this type of business technology, and it looks like they chose wisely.

People have been adopting and embracing SaaS in huge numbers, and the enthusiasm continues to swell. In fact, a recent IDC survey sponsored by Oracle showed that more than 60% of their survey respondents have adopted or will be adopting SaaS of some sort.

That’s in line with what we reported earlier this year: More people are moving (or at least planning to move) to the cloud. So why is this happening? What were the reasons people gave on the survey? And what are the most important things to keep in mind? Read on to find out!

The survey

Interviews were conducted with the CIOs of 160 organizations in Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. These were all big organizations – all had 500 or more employees. I think we can agree that this was a good dataset, yes? So, what were they key findings?

Major benefits cited:

1. SaaS offers huge cost savings

One of the main advantages of SaaS lies in the potential for cost savings. That was one of the key factors identified. It makes sense – with good SaaS, you install nothing, buy no new equipment, and don’t have to worry about providing support for it because that support should be bundled in the price. All you have to do is pay for a service and watch it go!

Here’s an easy-to-grasp example of how SaaS saves money. It’s pretty common knowledge among techies that 20% to 50% of the IT department’s received requests have to do with resetting passwords. That is a lot of IT staff time (and by extension, salary) spent on dealing with this task – it’s 8 to 20 hours per normal workweek sunk into it.

A SaaS solution that does such activities puts that valuable IT employee time into more challenging projects! It’s allows for better ROI on employee pay!

2. SaaS offers process efficiencies

A big cluster of responses boiled down to SaaS giving better process efficiency to those who adopt it. Respondents identified the following reasons for their desired/already implemented adoption:

  • Faster IT resource deployment (53% of respondents)
  • Delivering more projects without adding headcount (51%)
  • Standardization (50%)
  • Being able to get the latest software and techniques (at lower cost and risk) (48%)

Doesn’t this sound a lot like what we described a little while back? It all keeps being true!

3. SaaS increases productivity

Respondents strongly believed that their employees’ productivity would rise because of the move to cloud-based solutions and apps. The reasons they gave included:

  • Access to better technology (58%)
  • Access to higher quality IT skills (49%)


Now, I fully agree with everything that the survey takers found to be important drivers of their SaaS adoption. That said, these fantastic outcomes – reduced cost, increased efficiency, and higher productivity – do require some extra effort to achieve.

What SaaS users need to know

1. Efficiency from SaaS requires awareness

Recently I was sent a neat little blog post written by the CEO of a midsize company (called Return Path). Somehow, despite having 100 people on staff, his company uses over 50 software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and solutions. That averages to more than 2 per employee! His company was using Salesforce, Zuora (a subscription service), ADP (for payroll), Adobe Creative Cloud, and another 45+ SaaS.

Two key points from this CEO’s post stood out for me: 1) he still wasn’t sure if he’d actually identified everything that was in use at his company, and 2) he freely acknowledged that there was redundancy in the SaaS his staff had in the office.

That could be a bit of a problem – if you don’t know what you have, you might just be negating the cost savings from using SaaS. It’s a pretty clear case of Shadow IT erasing gains. You really have to know what you have in order to really profit from it! And on a related note…

2. Security requires discipline

Did you know that up to 83% of large enterprises have had sensitive data placed in unauthorized cloud storage? Because there’s nothing to install (not really), it’s easy for a company to lose track not only of the SaaS in use, but also of the security surrounding how their data is transferred or used.

What this means is that if you’re using SaaS (and the odds are pretty good that you do by now), you have to educate your employees on the potential security risks of SaaS. You also have to craft and enforce policies on acceptable usage.

So, where do we come in?

Well, we’ve made a name for ourselves with our IT and telecom expense management SaaS. We did that by automating processes, by simplifying policy enforcement, and by giving users the tools to create a culture of IT cost transparency. You’ll note that these benefits help overcome the security and awareness challenges I just mentioned. Check out our solution that helps you manage all your IT and telecom expenses to get the benefits of good SaaS!

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