At your service

24 February 2019 | Business

Windhoek • Jurgen Isaacs

Running a small business, or being a lawyer, plumber, architect, doctor or whatever form of self-employment you find yourself in, you are bound to use a computer. Whether it is an Apple or PC or a portable device, software, back-up, apps and billing, planning and specialist software are probably daily tools of the trade. As they are used every day, we need them to work and give us no trouble. No one has time to deal with the 'blue screen' of death or to search for updates, upgrades and patches. Sadly this is what often does happen though.

Simply getting your devices to talk to each other, getting the wireless printer to print the invoice or receive your outlook schedule on your smartphone is often easier said than done. Especially if you don't enjoy or understand the workings of the IT set-up.

This is where SaaS comes in.

SaaS – Software as a Service – is a way of distributing software, whereby instead of downloading the software to run locally on your PC, the program is hosted by a third-party provider, and then accessed by users over the Internet, typically through a web browser interface.

For all intents and purposes, Microsoft 365 is a perfect example of SaaS.

You may already be using SaaS on a daily basis, although you may not be aware of it. Your virus scanner is probably on your computer as a licence/subscription model.

There are some great advantages to using SaaS, it definitely isn't something that is only for large corporations. It's especially the SME and the self-employed who can benefit from going this route when it comes to having access to relevant and expensive software and applications.

Other benefits include:

• Real-time deployment: no need to go to the shops and physically buy a software package. It is remotely installed on your machine and you always have the latest version.

• Accessibility: If you have access to a browser and an internet connection you have access to a vast array of SaaS applications. You can login from any machine, your data is stored in the cloud, and not tied to an individual PC, giving you vastly more flexibility and mobility.

• Real-time updates: SaaS can easily be maintained with the latest version of the software remotely, no need to wait at the office for the IT consultant to finally show up.

• Hardware: With the software run on a server, your PC does not need to be constantly upgraded for hardware requirements, and there are no issues with not meeting minimum specs.

• Costs: With a subscription model, the (upfront) acquisition costs are much lower and manageable for (smaller) businesses. There are no hidden costs. Also, users can be added as needed on a monthly basis so the business can expand as required.

SaaS has taken the world and businesses by storm and has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry. Namibia cannot and does not need to lag behind. It is available right now and can help take away a major headache when trying to run your business, and not be driven to distraction by ICT or software issues.

Make sure your ICT-set up is always at your service with Software as a Service.

*Jurgen Isaacs is an automation manager at Technology Warehouse.

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