Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a cost-effective alternative to the traditional IT deployment where you have to buy or build your own IT infrastructures, install the software yourself, configure the applications and employ an IT department to maintain it. Nonprofits still have a lot of questions on whether these cloud computing solutions are a viable option for them.Head over to Super Office for the full article.
What is Software-as-a-Service?
Also referred to as “on-demand” and “in the Cloud” software, SaaS offers a connection and subscription to IT services built on a shared infrastructure via the cloud and deployed over the Internet.
Are nonprofits continuing to move to the Cloud?
According to Cisco Global Cloud Index, SaaS deployment will grow by 59% in 2018.
In 2014 the annual global survey of CIOs by Gartner found that 72% of respondents are already using SaaS. And in a recent study by KPMG showed that nearly half of executives surveyed named SaaS as their most likely area for investment.
Who uses SaaS applications?
SaaS is suitable for any nonprofit. Especially for small and medium-size organizations, SaaS is primarily a hassle-free and cost-effective alternative offering new possibilities, flexible costs, as well as easy maintenance and deployment.
SaaS allows multiple users to get access to the vast database at anytime and anywhere there is the internet. All you need is a web browser and an internet-powered device and you’re up and running.
Key benefits of SaaS CRM for your nonprofit
1. Minimal initial investment
SaaS operates on a pay-as-you-go method with no large upfront fees. You just pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to use CRM as a service.
This is one of the reasons why SaaS is favored by smaller nonprofits and start-ups who may not find the cash to invest into a CRM solution even if it is considered business critical.
It also means that it can be treated as an operating expenditure (which most of CFOs prefer) rather than an investment.
2. A cost saving option
This is one of the most attractive advantages – SaaS CRM can be a real money-saver.
When you compare the cost of a SaaS CRM solution against the cost of buying the software, at first it may look as if the SaaS option is still expensive.
However, when you take into account the sums you need to spend on buying the necessary hardware as well as hiring and managing the people to maintain it all, it often turns out that the SaaS approach actually is a lower cost option after all.
3. Remote Access
The SaaS model allows you to access your CRM database from anywhere, on any device and at any time.
All you need is just an internet connection and a web browser. Hosted in the cloud and accessible over the Internet, SaaS CRM is particularly great for the sales people who spend most of their time in the field.
4. No IT troubles
A hassle-free IT life is definitely the top selling point of SaaS CRM.
The subscription-based SaaS pricing method entails virtually no system maintenance fees, such as backup, updates and security.
There is no need for a user to buy, install or update any hardware or have a local server installed, which are certainly costly and require maintenance. This, in turn, means that you don’t need to employ a dedicated IT staff.
SaaS CRM solutions are hosted by a SaaS provider, so all upgrades, installations, maintenance, and new users are connected to the system without any effort on the customer’s side.
5. High security levels
A SaaS vendor’s reputation depends on data security, and with the increased threat of ransomware, it is only natural that safeguarding the app is paramount. That is why SaaS providers have their servers scattered in multiple geographical locations and have automatic backups, ensuring a higher level of security than your own enterprise itself would be able to provide.
[May We Suggest Reading: FBI Issues Public Service Announcement on Ransomware]
6. Easy scalability
Finally, SaaS CRM model can be quickly scaled up, meaning that if your organization decided to increase the number of CRM users it can be done within a day.
No need for lengthy requests, testing, changing of the IT structure, installing additional software, and waiting, just change the subscription and there you have it – more users will get access to a SaaS solution. And if you need more storage space or additional service – the process is the same: quick and almost immediately deployable.
At Tech Impact our philosophy is “Cloud-First”. We advocate organizations move towards cloud services and technologies because they are often the most cost-effective and sustainable solutions for nonprofits. It is no longer the case that the best technology solutions are only available to companies and organizations with large budgets.
Learn More About SaaS for Nonprofits by Attending one of our Weekly Webinars