Software as a service (SaaS) is a cloud-based model that is anticipated to grow to $104.7 billion in 2020, according to Gartner. SaaS integration brings together an overall increase for cloud business applications, for both businesses and SaaS users. (Blog Updated in September 2020)
The amalgamation is a time consuming and a tedious task for other cloud and on-premise applications, while onboarding SaaS software. Some of these challenges for SaaS integration include; cloud integration, IT infrastructure, security and many more. Therefore the crucial question to answer would be about how to reduce the costs and help achieve integration efforts while onboarding new SaaS software and making expected ROI from them in a shorter period. Let us discuss some of the core challenges associated with using and implementing software as a service (SaaS).
1. Hybrid IT Infrastructure
More and more companies are aiming for a hybrid IT infrastructure that combines on-premise software with SaaS applications. However, integrating SaaS with your existing IT infrastructure can become the biggest hurdle. Though public cloud services bring a lot of benefits, failure to integrate SaaS tools with existing IT tools and software can negate its benefits. In order to facilitate this cloud integration, SaaS providers and your IT staff need to work closely together.
The challenge here is that the IT department has to ensure that they have taken the necessary care to integrate SaaS tools with your existing IT tools. Many cloud consulting companies help smoothen this process with the help of connectors and adaptors that help integrate traditional applications with SaaS. However, despite all the connectors, there are certain areas where integration becomes difficult and challenging for the IT personnel. Consider hiring an experienced cloud consulting firm to ensure seamless integration and begin your digital transformation journey.
2. Access Control
Another challenge that businesses face when transitioning into the cloud is access control. The access control and monitoring settings that are applicable in a traditional software are not successfully carried forward to SaaS applications. Admins should have complete control over who (user) can access what, especially during the transition phase.
3. Cost of Integration
Another major factor for SaaS integration is cost. The integration of existing software with SaaS requires a high level of expertise. Businesses may need to hire highly skilled technicians and cloud consulting companies for complicated endeavor. Getting it right may seem expensive, but getting it wrong can cause real headaches. The best strategy is to count the cost and use of methods & tools that are reliable and vetted. Integration-as-a-service (IaaS) is one such model that has received wider adoption and popularity in recent years due to its low-cost approach in solving the integration conundrum.
4. Time Constraints
Most companies opting for SaaS are generally in a hurry to get the application up and running. Moving from on-premises to the cloud is time-consuming and can lead to real productivity issues if not appropriately managed. Integrating SaaS with your traditional applications can prolong, as a result of which your work may get delayed. This is another challenge that lies ahead in SaaS integration. Businesses need to plan carefully for any SaaS integration and factor any contingencies and other delays.
5. Inadequate Integration
If the integration is not up to the mark, many problems can arise, wreaking havoc on an organization. You may realize your sales and accounting data is not in sync with your CRM, your users are uploading files and making changes in different systems, invoices are sent to wrong customers, your data is leaked, automatic information gathering is not so automatic, so on and so forth. Lower productivity, lost revenue, and low employee morale could be negative consequences of a poorly executed integration.
The best practice for successful integration strategy is carefully examining your SaaS vendors and not relying on just one approach or methodology but remaining flexible to adopt the right solution.
These are some of the typical challenges that arise during SaaS integration. If SaaS integration is carried out properly, you will never have security issues, all your data will be automatically updated and changes in one system will be carried to other systems. You can overcome all these challenges to a great extent and turn them into opportunities with the help of cloud consulting services that offer SaaS and cloud integration.