In recent years, Software as a Service (SaaS) has emerged as a solution for manufacturers as an alternative to on-premise systems. Significant developments in cloud technology have made SaaS more powerful and more affordable for businesses.
What is Software as a Service (SaaS)?
Software as a service (SaaS) refers to software that is hosted by a cloud provider and distributed over the internet.
With SaaS, the software doesn’t live on a single machine. Rather, most SaaS is licensed through a subscription model, and users can access their account from any location with an internet connection (and in many cases, offline as well).
An overview of SaaS in manufacturing
As manufacturing processes have become increasingly complex and business environments have become less predictable in recent years, the demand for increased flexibility has been top of mind for many businesses.
With traditional on-premise systems, manufacturers have limited functionality beyond native, prebuilt modules.
Customizing these systems to meet specific businesses' needs is typically both costly and time-intensive, and as business needs change over time, they are difficult to modify to meet the demand.
As more and more SaaS solutions enter the market, businesses are increasingly recognizing the value of a scalable subscription model relative to traditional manufacturing systems. Some of the biggest advantages of SaaS in manufacturing are as follows...
Advantages of SaaS for Manufacturers
1. SaaS is more affordable
The total cost of ownership for cloud-based manufacturing solutions is typically lower than traditional on-premise systems. Because it’s licensed on a subscription model, you only pay for the service only as long as it creates value for your operation and avoids expensive hardware or high fees for IT support.
2. SaaS is more reliable
SaaS runs across multiple data centers. This means that storage is highly redundant–so you can count on 24/7 uptime and your data will always be available. SaaS also uses sophisticated data encryption, so your sensitive information is well protected.
Further, SaaS allows you to get real-time software updates and bug fixes, so you’ll never have to wait for the most up-to-date version. You can avoid the cumbersome on-premise update process, so there’s no need to reconfigure and migrate.
3. SaaS is faster & more flexible
Perhaps the greatest benefit of SaaS for manufacturers is its flexibility and ease of use. SaaS is simpler than on-premise solutions from the get-go. There’s no need to install software, so getting started is as easy as signing up online. The time to value of a SaaS manufacturing solution is significantly shorter.
Once you’ve gotten started, you can access the software from anywhere. You can get visibility into your shop floor operations using your phone or tablet because you’re not bound to a desktop app.
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