What is SaaS?
SaaS, or Software as a Service, is fast becoming the go-to solution for businesses to take care of their essential, though often mundane, tasks. Checking manual timesheets, updating holiday wallcharts or calculating the payroll are cumbersome tasks which few employers are enthusiastic about. This explains the popularity of numerous SaaS platforms now available serving everything from dog-walking, to restaurants to time and attendance systems to track employees.
In fact global research shows that the worldwide cloud software market reached $48.8 billion in revenue in 2014, representing a 24.4% year-over-year growth rate with little sign of abating.
Key features of SaaS
A SaaS is essentially software which is hosted by a third party provider who then makes the software available to customers over the internet, payment is often monthly subscription based. A key feature of SaaS is that it is cloud-based rather than being stored on local hardware and servers. Computer experts predict that by 2019 spending in the SME sector on software and IT will overtake hardware.
Now an essential part of the business ecosystem, Saas providers are ever more competitive pushing themselves to provide ever more user-friendly services. This is good news for organisations who are looking for hassle-free easy-to-use technology to keep their businesses profitable and increase their staying power.
How small businesses can benefits from SaaS
The big plus for businesses using SaaS is that is saves valuable time and money – this is due to the additional capability it offers business to increase efficiency and accuracy. In fact it’s a new technology in which the UK Government has been making significant investment – its 2017 report recommended ‘use of the cloud’ to UK firms as a core strategy for remaining competitive. Currently about 69% of UK businesses use cloud-based applications, and more than half (53%) say that they are critical to effective remote working (British Chambers of Commerce).
The specific benefits of SaaS for business include:
- Ideal for mobile or remote workers –SaaS can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection and on a variety of devices. For example, a time and attendance SaaS is ideal for mobile or remote workers to easily clock-in or use any of the other features of the system. Research has shown that UK SMEs are increasing their cloud software to cope with more flexible working practices.
- Easier payroll management – the traditional bugbear of small businesses in particular, the use of a well-functioning SaaS means that payroll staff won’t have to worry about manually dealing with timesheets – a time and attendance SaaS will automatically export accurate data to payroll on time.
- Increases productivity of managers and supervisors – no longer reliant on office-based systems and PCs within office hours, managers are freed up to be able to perform a range of functions, ‘on the go’ and from any location, anytime. For example, SaaS can be used to review clocking-in data, authorise timesheets and manage holiday requests from staff.
- No maintenance or upgrading headaches – the SaaS provider takes care of maintaining and upgrading the system so your organisation has no IT hassles. SaaS firms provide all the necessary technical and troubleshooting support needed.
- Saves on hardware costs – businesses don’t need to spend on the hardware needed to install and run the applications because SaaS is stored ‘in the cloud’. Instead customers subscribe to SaaS platforms, generally monthly and with the ability to scale up or down as business needs change.
Given these compelling benefits, it’s easy to see why SaaS will be the next big thing for businesses still not yet on board. A danger is that with an increasing number of SaaS providers, businesses feel overwhelmed, sit it out and fail to take advantage of a capability which will enhance their productivity and profitability. Small businesses in particular, who previously found size and cost curtailing their competitiveness with larger firms, should welcome the SaaS option.
uAttend is a cloud-based time and attendance SaaS which offers excellent solutions for your business problems. uAttend automates the collection and processing of time and attendance data, improving accuracy and efficiency.