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Dark Side of SaaS (Part 1)

 

The concept of SaaS (Software as a Service) is still relatively new in replacing the traditional practice of perpetual licensing in the enterprise, but it has already made a huge impact on the way IT teams operate across the world. Companies like Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft have trail blazed changes to software licensing options and delivery methods that have led to the emergence of SaaS as the standard licensing model in the enterprise world.

In short, with perpetual licensing companies must BUY software while SaaS allows them to RENT software.

SaaS sounds great right?

There are a number of attractive benefits around the SaaS model:

  1. Your software is always up to date
  2. It’s cheaper up front to rent software than buy it
  3. You can get rid of some of your on-premises equipment
  4. And SaaS offerings in the enterprise usually come bundled with multiple solutions as an all-in-one offering

However, SaaS offerings also bundle benefits with some substantial downsides that can keep you from realizing optimal value from your software investments.

Let’s take a look at one of those downsides.

Keeping Up with Feature Updates

In the “old days” of perpetual software licensing, a company would buy a solution, deploy it, and use it for at least several years – all the way to its dying days of discontinued support or until a sales team came around with a shiny new version or an alternative new product. Considering the huge up front costs of perpetual licensees and the ensuing efforts for a roll out, the perpetual licensing era was as close to “set it and forget it” as it gets – there wasn’t much flexibility or change.

On the other hand, SaaS is all about change. Microsoft’s Office 365 for example rolls out a steady stream of constant feature updates every week – over 24 features have been added or updated in the last 30 days alone.

What it means for your users

In this case, these updates are adding more things your users have to worry about in the workspace. Mastering modern software like Office 365 can be a challenging task in itself, but keeping up with constant updates to features as well can truly overwhelm many users.

So what can you do to ease up the strain on your users?

A new approach to the way software is licensed, deployed, and updated warrants a new approach to the way users are informed, trained, and supported around technology.

“End-User training is more of a requirement now especially as [technology] evolves and changes far more rapidly than legacy solutions did (where we could more or less completely control change rates” (IT Manager with 12 years of experience) – BetterCloud State of Cloud IT 2016.

End-User training, when done right, can not only help users keep up to date with changes to SaaS technology in their work environment but it can also increase overall user productivity as well. Advancements to technology can give your users an edge in effectively accomplishing their goals and tasks – with proper guidance your users can become tech gurus in no time.

Feel free to provide feedback or reach out to learn more about the benefits of end-user training.

Stay tuned for the next post in our Dark Side of SaaS series.

Feel free to provide feedback or reach out to learn more about the benefits of guided learning.

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