Simonx | 23rd April 2020 - 8 min read
Software as a service (SaaS) has many benefits if used properly. The software industry has seen many changes in recent years and some now say that SaaS is the way of the future.
To describe it in general terms, SaaS is a cloud-based application that can be accessed from anywhere with just an internet connection. There’s no need to download software. SaaS includes everything from office software (G-suite, Word, PowerPoint, Excel) to unified communications and business apps like Asana, Slack, Trello, Zoom, etc.
Here we unpack why SaaS should be considered and the many advantages it offers.
Essentially, SaaS enables most companies to just ‘get on with it’ and this has proved an advantage particularly in the wake of the disruption that coronavirus has made on the world.
As we’re made to work from home in varying degrees of lockdown, never has there been a need for software to be easily accessible and shared.
Gone are the days of buying an expensive server or adding another to the one you’ve already got.
When it comes to the various SaaS providers’ costs, it’s typical to be able to sign up for a low, initial fee and then pay a higher one as you require additional functionality.
While a price hike after the initial ‘honeymoon trial’ doesn’t sound ideal, when you do the math it’s generally a cheaper alternative to employing a full IT staff compliment to maintain and manage internal programmes. With SaaS, all you need is an internet connection.
If you’re unsure whether something will work for your business there’s no longer the irksome worries of all the expense of trying it all out when you use SaaS.
Now businesses can try out software quickly and easily and often at a minimal cost from the outset as free or low-cost trials are typically offered.
If you don’t like a particular SaaS offering you simply don’t allow the trial to progress and it’s also easy to cancel even after the trial period.
SaaS has created an eco-system, where cloud-based companies can easily connect their software together. Within the accounting space you may, for example, have Xero that you can easily connect with your CRM.
Because of the API (application programming interface) that information can just flow easily and securely between the different cloud SaaS software businesses within the eco-systems.
These ecosystems have got exponentially bigger – and this is a good thing. You’ve got programmes like Slack for messaging, Zoom – which can be utilised within Slack – and as a result it’s so much more productive. You are working with a set of tools that are all linked together. As all these things are connected the flow of information allows you to be more productive.
It certainly beats the old days where you run a report, fix up the columns and import it elsewhere – now you can quickly and easily get info from one powerful tool and get it into another. And all of these tools are at a lower cost and offer a lot more functionality compared to the previous bespoke software.
Adoption of SaaS within insurance
When it comes to the insurance industry there has been some reticence in the adoption of SaaS. This is not always through any fault of its own because niche products, for example, bring with them their own complexities, particularly in the specialist commercial sector.
It can be quite difficult to develop tools and platforms that can cater for all those scenarios. But SaaS is slowly starting to cater for them as the complexity is being built into the software.
Many insuretech disruptors have adopted SaaS enthusiastically and this has provided them with many distinct advantages, not least of which is getting products to market speedily.
Insuretechs that have made the customer journey experience, both for quotes, administration and claims very smooth and incorporated cloud-based tech to help their workflows by including data from external sources have seen efficiencies.
As a result, the businesses have got much better cost-ratios, they also can engage with customers efficiently. These are just some of the benefits when you start making use of SaaS, but there are many more.
So, if you want to adopt a SaaS offering, what’s the starting point? At SchemeServe, we say it’s key to choose a core platform as the first step. Everything else can be connected via API. If the core platform allows you to enable other elements that address your unique requirements, then you are in a good position.
Ask yourself: “What are my core business requirements? Does the cloud platform address these and does that have an ability to bring in other info from data sets or other systems easily so that I can get my unique, tailored offering to the market?”
Our view is that finding platforms that are open and able to connect is more important than using something that tries to accomplish everything.
Simon spent over 10 years programming from behind a keyboard, before transitioning across to management. A keen adrenaline junkie, whether that involves going up the mountain or over the edge of the cliff. He learned his management skills not just in the I.T world but also running youth camps and conferences, helping teenagers find a footing in life. He also really likes pie.