Indian Startups have slowly woken up to the opportunity that Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) represents. In the last decade SaaS software has found large scale adaptation among small businesses. This has led to the creation of behemoths like Salesforce.com and Zoho.com, that today drive the infrastructure of startups in Europe and the United States.
Salesforce.com took more than a decade to hit 1 billion in revenues and is today being courted by the likes of Microsoft. It has been rumored that Microsoft offered up to US$ 55 billion to acquire it. To explore and understand SaaS, NSRCEL is organizing a workshop at IIM Bangalore for tech startups. Given below is brief overview of Saas and Cloud Computing for Startups. The workshop will further elucidate on the concepts given below.
Refers to the unique model by which programs and applications are delivered over the Internet to end users. Users no longer need to install the program on their local systems. They can access their data at any time as long as they have access to the Internet. By buying web software you no longer need to worry about upgrades and maintenance as this is done by the SaaS vendor. This helps the company to save costs.
We have previously featured several cloud based tools and resources which you will find useful below:
- 7 Online Tools for Entrepreneurs.
- Mambu Cloud Software for Microfinance.
- Startup Incubators in India.
- Athenahealth – A company based in the United States provides cloud infrastructure to maintain health care records online.
- Salesforce – Provides a suite of tools and applications for Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Salesforce is the leader in the SaaS Space and is compatible with multiple vendors.
- Dropbox – It offers free and paid storage for photos, videos and files. It has emerged as the leader in the online storage space with a 25% market share in business file sharing.
Amazon is considered the pioneer of cloud computing as it launched its services in 2006. Cloud Computing refers to the storage of data and programs on hardware at a centralized data center. Until now data used to be stored on local machines which would then have to be connected to networks before they could be accessed. SaaS Software is hosted on cloud computing infrastructure.
When your data is hosted on the cloud all you need is a laptop and a internet connection to access it from anywhere in the world. This ease of use has contributed to large scale adaption across diverse sectors from healthcare to mining.
The Cloud Software Market is dominated by Amazon which operates through Amazon Web Services. Amazon is believed to hold a little more than 30% of the cloud computing market share. Amazon is trailed by Microsoft whose new product, Office 365 has seen global adaptation. Microsoft has 10% of the market share followed by Google and IBM.
Advantages of Using Cloud Services
- Instant Scalability
You can quickly increase your storage or computing power requirements with the click of a mouse button. Companies save time because they no longer need to upgrade their servers manually.
- Low Cost
The cost of migrating your IT infrastructure to the cloud is initially expensive and requires you to make substantial investments. However once it is setup, the incremental costs of managing it are very low. It is in the long run that cloud computing delivers because you no longer incur expenditure on maintenance of servers and networks.
- Flexibility of Cloud Software Solutions
You can incorporate solutions from multiple vendors without compromising on cost, security or scalability. Easy interoperability ensures you save money and time. You are also not locked in to a particular vendor and can at any time choose to migrate to another service provider.
You no longer need to worry about the security of your server because all of it is managed by suppliers. These vendors update your software and apply security patches to ensure your business critical data remains secure.
Migrating To A Cloud Solution
Businesses today deploy applications, programs and software tools to cloud servers located around the globe. It is important to backup all your data in case you need to roll back the installation. Do let us know if you require any assistance in setting up your cloud installation in the comments below.