Nowadays organizations of all sizes have various kinds of services available to them in terms of handling any IT-related needs. They are adopting these solutions to beat the costs and hassles of managing their IT systems and using traditional packaged applications. Managed IT services and software-as-a-service (SaaS) enable you to handle complex technical areas without the added cost of upkeep and installation, on-call staff, and software engineering.
However, there are essential differences between these two outsourced models. In this article, we will explain the differences between managed services and SaaS that every organization needs to understand and will provide some tips on which model works best for an organization’s specific needs.
Use of SaaS
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a service category that allows your company to subscribe and sign in users to an existing software program that operates remotely from your company. In general, SaaS refers to services delivered through the cloud that your company pays for. You and your employees are able to remotely log in and receive the benefits of the program to do tasks such as bookkeeping, payroll, or even research and present reports.
Actually we use software as a service (SaaS) applications every day. Office 365 from Microsoft, for instance, is SaaS, because the company provides it through the cloud and charges firms a subscription fee for the privilege of using it, depending on the number of users. Dropbox is a SaaS application offering online cloud storage services. Adobe Creative Cloud is a SaaS provider offering illustration, design and photo editing tools. Slack, as well, is a SaaS application for business collaboration and communication. Moreover, SaaS applications are off-the-shelf software solutions intended to be implemented and adopted quickly with little to no customization. Despite their many advantages, though, SaaS applications do have their limitations. SaaS applications are one-size-fits-all, download-and-done solutions, meaning there’s little room for customization for one specific account. Plus, most SaaS subscriptions offer minimal support and training to help organizations adopt the software.
Managed Services Vs. SaaS
Managed services are different. While SaaS provides companies with software that they can use over the cloud, managed services go a step further. They often offer additional support by taking care of both networking and hardware requirements. Managed services can also go further than managing software and help businesses on the hardware side too. Managed IT services are IT tasks provided by a third-party vendor to a customer — this can be businesses of all sizes. The managed service provider has the responsibility to maintain the IT operations of the organization that benefits the service.
On the other hand, the software as a service model is a category of cloud computing alongside infrastructure as a service and platform as a service model. The SaaS model involves software distribution in which a third-party vendor hosts, maintains and upgrades applications that are available to customers via the Internet. If an organization has ever utilized any software from the cloud, then it has used SaaS. The software as a service model might be a good fit for businesses that have full commitment to staff their IT infrastructure but need outsourced applications to have cutting edge services and be on the next level. In short, the businesses that will get the most advantage out of SaaS are those that have existing IT infrastructure.
Furthermore, managed IT service providers collaborate with their customers and provide IT expertise and pre-built IT infrastructure. There are also remote IT service providers that fully maintain and control their customers’ IT operations so that these customers will focus on more critical business projects and processes.
Managed IT services offer different benefits to keep an organization’s data secure. These benefits include constant remote monitoring and the creation of relevant reports to inform the organization about the state of its system. Another security benefit is risk assessment and correlation analyses to keep a steady overview of the activities of the network.
With SaaS, on the other hand, the customers don’t have complete control over their data since the data is hosted in the cloud. Although a customer has the advantage of accessing SaaS applications anywhere with the use of the Internet, the customer must perform a security review of the application before subscribing, especially when it is deployed on a public cloud.
By using remote IT services, an organization doesn’t have to worry about switching up approach as it gets bigger because a managed service provider is already setup to do just that seamlessly. They can address day-to-day IT issues, maintain and monitor the network or system, and help an organization plan for future needs when it comes to technology.
When using SaaS, users don’t have to buy another server or software as compared to traditional models. SaaS applications are scalable by enabling an organization to choose the delivery model and changing it when the requirements of the business change. With SaaS, it is easier to turn on an additional set of components, integrate to other systems, and get new application users.
- Stability And Predictability
One of the most essential things that managed IT services offer is their stability. Unlike the break/fix model where an IT professional is only available when there is an issue, managed IT service providers have a 24/7 availability and prevent all issues from happening. This also includes weekends, holidays, and in the middle of the night, so kind of IT support provides and ensures a superior level of productivity for the availing organization, regardless of the time and date.
In the SaaS model, on the other hand, data portability can be the problem. The situation can become unpredictable and unstable. What happens to an organization’s data stored in the cloud if the SaaS providers go bankrupt? Unfortunately, this is one of the risks an organization needs to take when opting for a SaaS solution.
What kind of service do you need?
Every company needs a variety of IT related services. If your primary needs center around straightforward functions like payroll or simple accounting, SaaS is probably a good fit for you. One of the primary reasons why SaaS is popular among companies is that it provides a low-cost alternative to conventional, in-house solutions. Through this service, your business is free to scale up or down and implement new products without investing too much on expensive processes.
A managed service provider comes at a higher price, but you still get your money’s worth because they provide a more comprehensive solution. Managed IT companies allow you to enjoy the advantages of SaaS while helping you with better integration, upgrades, and maintenance.
As final thoughts we could say that the choice between the two IT solutions depends on your business needs. There are companies that require basic software delivered via the cloud to perform a specific function. In this case, SaaS is the most ideal option. For businesses that need to integrate their systems and monitor networks, getting managed IT services is the best way to go. Whatever option you go for, always think about how important the software required is to your company.