26 Oct 2017

Why Software-as-a-Service security models can benefit small business

The cloud is having a huge impact on the security industry. This has led to a paradigm shift. Companies are no longer just selling systems, they’re providing a service.

The concern of the customer is to be secure and this is what’s driving the service side of security. The industry’s focus has changed from its origins of simply creating say, an access control system that would just open a door. Now the blueprint is developed around the customer and how the customer can interact with that system.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the best-known example of cloud computing, is a delivery model in which applications are hosted and managed in a service provider's datacenter, paid for on a subscription basis and accessed via a browser over an internet connection.

SaaS applications are a natural fit for start-ups and small businesses. These are unlikely to be attracted by the prospect of setting up and managing on-premises infrastructure and applications.

MOST IMPORTANT TO remember is, it is not the business of a start-up or a small-to-medium enterprise to be running their security system. That’s the business of an external security company. So, what the cloud has achieved, is that security is now a managed service for customers. So, if a business is selling cupcakes, that can now be their priority. Simple as.

This can lead to large cost savings with the eradication of expenses like installing, maintaining and upgrading on-premises IT infrastructure, versus the operational cost of a SaaS subscription.

Moreover, as your business grows and you need to add more users, rather than investing in additional in-house server capacity and software licenses, you simply adjust your monthly SaaS subscription as required.

IF YOU TAKE a step back and examine where the industry was ten years ago, this was the case for most companies. Any company in a decent sized building would have had a security manager, an IT manager, an IT support manager. Now, with the cloud these are all external services that you no longer need dedicated bodies to manage. So, expenditure is down, making it an extremely cost-effective and attractive model. Security is just another Software-as-a-Service, as it should be.

Where SaaS benefits Vanderbilt as a company, is the instant customer feedback it automatically generates. We can see what features are popular, which in turn tells us what people want and expect more of.

In the past, selling an installation disk provided no idea of how many panels it was being used on. But with software, subscription numbers can tell you, for example, that a specific piece of software is being used on 50 panels, therefore people obviously like it. At a basic level, this can start the conversation on how can we improve that software even more and make the customer’s experience even better.