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SMBs Find ‘Significant Benefits,’ Challenges from SaaS

SaaS

The strong momentum for softwares ass as Service (SaaS) is nowhere close to slowing.

A survey of more than 1,800 IT professionals by BetterCloud shows that while SaaS continues to be a hot commodity, end users are discovering new benefits and challenges with the technology.

BetterCloud's Taylor GouldThe study – 80 percent comprised of SMBs – found that SaaS will grow at 37 percent through 2020. That’s a much higher ceiling than infrastructure -as a service (17 percent) and platform as a service (10 percent). Organizations averaged eight SaaS apps in 2015, but that number went to 12 in 2016 and 16 this year. The survey said 73 percent of organizations will use all SaaS-based apps by 2020. For IT departments choosing their SaaS applications, cost was the most important attribute for them, followed by security and ease of use.

The study found that 38 percent of the responding companies are almost entirely running on SaaS, and they are seeing benefits from the technology. Almost all of them – 94 percent – noted “significant benefits” from SaaS. These companies, which average 34 SaaS applications each, report a reduction in email, increased customer satisfaction and fewer scheduled meetings that their employees have to attend. For many companies it has increased the likelihood of attracting better talent.

But the study reports challenges alongside the benefits. The report notes that SaaS applications have historically operated under the radar of IT departments, making them isolated from administrative oversight and prone to shadow IT. Businesses now expect IT operations to integrate the SaaS applications into the overall strategy. {ad}

That means IT departments need to delegate administrative privileges for the applications.

“In the SaaS-powered workplace, delegating granular admin rights is cumbersome at best and impossible at worst,” the report said. “And with vendors constantly introducing new permissions, it can be difficult to keep up.”

IT also has to understand how external access relates to the apps — developing policies for the growing number of freelancers that work with companies. The other struggles are automating repetitive tasks and managing various users across applications.

Taylor Gould, vice president of marketing for BetterCloud, says there is an opportunity for MSPs and resellers to be more involved with their customers if they evolve their practice to match SaaS trends.

“With so many new applications being deployed in customers’ environments, it’s very difficult for internal IT teams to be experts in how to deploy, manage and train their organization on new applications, especially SaaS, because it’s always changing,” he said. “Resellers and MSPs who develop broad expertise across multiple applications and can help their customers adapt and thrive in this new world have an enormous opportunity in front of them.”


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