No matter how capable you are as a business owner, there are things you can’t do or can’t be bothered to do. These are time-consuming, menial tasks and projects that aren’t your specialty.
That’s why it’s a common practice among business owners to pay for services to take care of these tasks. Though these ‘services’ can come in various ways, managed services and software-as-a-service (SaaS) are two of the most common types for businesses.
However, while both are incredibly helpful, they incur a hefty fee. That’s why business owners often have to decide which of the two they need, and that’s likely what you’re here for. To start with, you must first gain a better understanding of these two types of services.
SaaS Versus Managed Services: An Overview
SaaS, in its simplest terms, is a delivery model where you, the client, pay the vendor a certain amount of money. In exchange, the vendor gives you access to the software. Put simply, it’s when you pay for a monthly or, in some cases, yearly subscription to a software. Meanwhile, the managed services model involves paying an agency or company to do specific tasks for you.
To illustrate further, imagine you’re a business owner in Chicago and want to regularly do search engine optimization (SEO) audits on your site. If you go for managed services, you’ll likely hire a Chicago IT services company and get them to do the regular SEO audits for you.
However, if you go the SaaS route, you’ll have to pay for a subscription to an SEO software suite like Ahrefs. You can use the software to perform SEO audits more efficiently and quickly.
Either way, you can save yourself time, which you can then spend on other, perhaps more important matters. That’s the basic idea behind these two types of services. But while they are similar, they also carry similarities, especially when it comes to their other benefits.
If you can’t decide if your business needs one of these services or both, then there’s no better way to make the decision easier than by looking at their benefits. Let’s start with that of SaaS’.
Benefits Of SaaS
- It’s easy to implement or deploy. Whenever a business makes changes to its operations, the employees have the responsibility to adapt accordingly. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for one or more employees to be unable to keep up. The fact that SaaS is easy to implement is beneficial since employees will have an easier time adapting.
- SaaS is relatively cheap. Compared to alternatives like managed services, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and platform-as-a-service (PaaS), the price points of SaaS is low.
- It offers immediate benefits. When you invest in something, there’s usually a bit of time before you feel or notice its beneficial effects. That’s often not the case with SaaS, as you can generally benefit from it as soon as the vendor installs the software.
- SaaS is scalable. One thing you may notice when looking at the pricing plans of different software is that they have several options. The software company likely offers various options for small, medium, and large-scale businesses. For instance, many of the software offered in the market nowadays have plans for one, ten, or a hundred users.
Benefits Of Managed Services
- There’s no need for implementation. When you opt for managed services, you usually don’t have to make changes to your business, at least not anything significant. For example, if you hire a web support agency, the most significant change it’ll bring is that you no longer need an in-house team to handle the website. Your employees can work as usual.
- Managed services are more comprehensive. As the name implies, SaaS focuses on your software side. Managed services are more comprehensive in that goes further than just providing and managing software. It can also help your business with other matters, such as your business’ concerns with hardware, cybersecurity, and SEO.
- It reduces your business’ downtime. While SaaS can reduce your business’ downtime to some extent, it cannot do that more effectively than managed services. Managed services eliminate avoidable downtime by keeping your systems alive at all times.
Verdict: Does Your Business Need One Or Both?
While there’s some overlap with their benefits, you can see the difference in what each form of service can offer to your business. Those should help get you to the answer to your question.
SaaS best suits businesses that want specific features, nothing more, nothing less. If you have your IT system covered but are lacking in the cloud department, for example, paying for Dropbox should suffice. However, if you still don’t have an established IT system, a cloud software may not be enough. In that case, hiring a cloud service provider is the way to go. Put simply, the right choice ultimately depends on your current needs.