The SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) model for deploying business applications is growing in popularity as a way for companies to reduce their IT spend without compromising the quality and usability of their software applications.

An SaaS solution is simply Web-based software that is ‘rented’ by the user, as opposed to traditional, desktop software that is purchased up-front and installed on the user’s computer. It eliminates all the costs associated with maintaining desktop software, which is a significant expense for large networks, and the need for the user to install upgrades or perform regular backups.

Here are 10 good reasons why Web-based software could be a way for your fleet business to save money and reduce IT overheads.

1. Software is rented not purchased

Desktop software can be expensive, particularly if you are planning on running it across many computers in the office. This represents a costly, up-front investment in both hardware and IT support systems. SaaS programs are ‘rented’ by the user, minimizing the risk and reducing the up-front cost.

2. The security of world-class backup systems

Computers are not immune to problems. Data corruption or hardware failures put your application at risk, and while you know the importance of having a good backup routine in place, it often gets overlooked.

With SaaS applications from professional providers your data gets all the benefit of a world-class backup system. This includes contingency plans in the case of emergencies and high-level security to keep your business-critical information safe.

3. You don’t need an IT team to manage it

Employing or contracting a team of IT workers to run regular backups, install upgrades or fix broken installations is costly for any size business. Web-based software means you don’t have to worry about any of that because it’s all taken care of by the software vendor.

4. You can access your software from anywhere in the world

Traditional PC-based programs are very limiting for the modern-day worker. More and more staff want to be able to work from home, or at least have access to their business applications from wherever they might be — a hotel room, another office or a departure lounge.
With SaaS, all users need is Internet access to use a Web-based application.

5. Only pay for what you need

Studies show that for most desktop applications, users will only utilize 20% of the program’s features. The advantage of SaaS applications is that it is often easier to only purchase as much or as little functionality as you actually need.

You can even restrict features or data access by user, giving you comprehensive and flexible control over the software and data security.

6. Easier integration with your other programs

Since most Web-based applications are created with widely-used, open-source Web standards, there is a strong possibility that an SaaS solution will easily integrate with your existing applications, providing you with software that is more useful to your business.

SaaS can also save you time by providing a single platform for all your business data, instead of switching between several different desktop programs that work independently of each other.

7. No downtime while new or upgraded software is installed

There are often significant costs associated with company downtime, incurred while computers are setup and installed with new desktop software. Instead of your office being out of action while software is installed, the latest SaaS applications are available immediately, at the flick of a switch.

8. Run the latest versions sooner

Traditional software companies have a cycle of developing and releasing software that often extends over many months. So if you’re waiting for a new feature or a bug fix, it can be a very long time before you get the benefit of that upgrade.
With Web-based software, enhancements and bug fixes are available as soon as the software vendor has fixed and tested them.

9. No hardware incompatibility issues

Purchasing a new software program would often mean that a business would need to upgrade its hardware to meet the new application’s system requirements. Older hardware, smaller hard drives or different operating systems would all pose a challenge when it came to installing new software.

Because Web-based software is accessed using a browser, it simplifies the hardware setup required, meaning customers simply need to be able to browse the Internet to use SaaS applications.
You also have the added benefit of your application being run on powerful, Web-based hardware that gives your application more processing speed and functionality.

10. Committed vendor relationship

Because SaaS software is ‘rented,’ the vendor is keen to get you to stick around, and will work a lot harder to make that happen. Rather than just selling a program and disappearing because they’ve got what they wanted, a SaaS vendor is committed to supporting you, week after week, listening to your feedback and working with you to provide the best solution for your changing needs.

Example of a SaaS application

One example of a SaaS or web-based application is Telogis QuickRoute. This is a powerful tool for optimizing routes for drivers.

The web interface allows staff to manage customer locations, recurring jobs and driver assignments, regardless of where they access the solution from. This allows fleets that are spread across a large area or operate from small, or even home, offices easy access to the central database.