Why SaaS Is Growing
Not long ago, government agencies shopping for a new asset management system viewed an on-premise solution as the only option. Today, the industry is increasingly favoring cloud-hosted, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions as a better choice. In fact, the SaaS market is growing 5 times faster than the traditional software market, according to global technology research firm IDC.
Why are so many organizations switching to SaaS? Government agencies have many reasons for doing so:
1. Affordable, Predictable Costs
Upfront IT costs are much lower with a SaaS solution because agencies don’t need to purchase expensive system hardware. Long-term costs are also more affordable since agencies don’t need to manage and maintain the complex IT infrastructure necessary to run today’s advanced software. In addition, budgeting for SaaS solutions is easier, because the annual subscription costs are predictable items in the agency’s operating budget vs. capital expenses that need special approval.
2. Higher Performance
When it comes to system performance, SaaS proves superior to on-premise systems in many ways. With SaaS, users always have access to the latest software features because updates occur regularly “in the background,” on an agency-approved schedule. In addition, SaaS provides higher system availability, with 99% uptime, enabling users to benefit from maximum productivity.
3. No Upgrade Hassles
Because SaaS users get updates incrementally as new features or enhancements are added, agencies can do away with the effort and disruptions that accompany large-scale upgrades. Seamless upgrades mean the agency’s in-house IT staff can focus on more value-adding activities that support strategic priorities, while the SaaS provider handles ongoing system maintenance and support.
4. Stronger Security
One of the most compelling reasons to switch to a SaaS delivery model is the higher level of security that comes with a cloud-hosted solution. Government agencies generally don’t have the budget, resources, or in-house capabilities to provide the 24/7 system monitoring and security enforcement that SaaS providers offer as part of their subscription services.
With SaaS, agencies get enterprise-grade security with their solution, which means risk mitigation for the infrastructure, software, and disaster-recovery processes necessary to protect the agency’s data from unauthorized access and to restore access quickly in the case of a disaster-related interruption.
How SaaS Security Beats On-Prem
Despite the advantages of SaaS over on-premise systems, users are often not aware of how the extensive security benefits play out in day-to-day operations. I’ll outline just three main reasons why organizations that switch to SaaS solutions gain considerable cybersecurity advantages.
1. Agency Owns Its Data—Always
While cloud-hosted SaaS solutions are delivered through the best, most secure data centers, the customer maintains control of the data—always. Agencies expect stringent security controls and well-established processes to ensure data integrity and recovery. These are exactly what cloud-hosted SaaS solutions provide.
In fact, with Trimble SaaS solutions, we have found that customers especially appreciate the reliability and consistency they get through cloud-hosted offerings, which result in significantly reduced security risks.
2. Data Is Isolated from Changes
In the SaaS environment, system and schema updates are tested against client–specific, non–production data sets. This process ensures isolation of the data from system changes, which minimizes risks to the data during updates. In addition, due to the frequency of SaaS updates, the system changesets (groups of related changes) are smaller, which means faster deployment and shorter time-to-value for the agency.
3. Cybersecurity Focus 24/7
Unlike most agencies, where IT resources are stretched thin across multiple departments and functional areas, the SaaS support team includes specialized cybersecurity professionals assigned to monitor and maintain security round the clock. With this centralized, always-available security team, your agency gets the benefit of the most advanced security capabilities and protocols in the industry.
Bottom Line: More Flexibility, Less Risk
As agencies join the growing trend of opting for cloud-hosted solutions, SaaS customers gain a wide range of benefits, including affordability, flexibility, and reduced security risks while maintaining full ownership and control of their data.