What's The Difference Between SaaS and Managed Service?
Using technology effectively is an increasingly vital goal for businesses and organizations of all kinds. As a result, there are many different services that can help your group make the best use of the tech tools it uses on a daily basis. When selecting which of those services is best for you, you'll often reach a point where you need to choose between SaaS and managed service. However, if you don't know what those terms mean or how they differ from one another, this article will provide an overview of the main differences between SaaS and managed service.
Defining SaaS and Managed Service
Before we detail the main pros and cons that will help you decide between SaaS and managed service, let's provide a quick definition of each of these terms. Below, you'll find a brief overview of what SaaS and managed service truly mean.
What is Saas?
The term SaaS is becoming more and more common as years go by, which is why you should take the time to learn what it means now. SaaS is an acronym that stands for software as a service.
In practice, SaaS is nothing more than a method by which your company receives access to the software it uses. This method differs from traditional methods of software use and has many advantages that we'll soon discuss.
Rather than installing the programs your teams use on your computers, SaaS allows you to store and access your programs via the cloud. That means that as long as you have internet access, all the software you need will be available to you.
Companies that deliver SaaS services will often charge you a monthly fee to continue using their service. They will also use the cloud to provide regular updates for your programs.
What is Managed Service?
Managed service is a comprehensive IT solution in which a managed service provider (MSP) will provide specialized support for your organization and all of its unique technology needs. In many cases, a third-party MSP can completely replace an in-house IT team.
Managed service typically involves support for your software, network, security, and all other crucial aspects of your IT infrastructure. These providers may occasionally work on-site at one of your organization's locations or provide support remotely. Additionally, most MSPs take time to learn the distinct needs of your organization so that they can provide IT solutions that are tailor-made for your needs.
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SaaS Vs. Managed Service
After learning the basic definitions of SaaS and managed service, you are likely interested in learning more about what makes each of these options a better or worse option than the other. In the next two sections, we'll outline the main pros and cons of both SaaS and managed service to make it easier to decide which is right for you.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of using SaaS for your business is that it is incredibly convenient. With SaaS, you won't need to rely on a representative visiting your organization to install programs on your computers. You also won't need to worry about allocating storage space for those programs. Instead, SaaS manages and updates all of your software via the cloud.
SaaS is also incredibly easy to maintain. In fact, your subscription to a SaaS provider will likely include automatic updates to ensure that you are always using the best version of your programs.
Choosing SaaS also has fantastic benefits for organizations that rely on remote or hybrid work. Rather than requiring workers to access specific locations to use the programs they need, SaaS grants access to software to any credentialed user as long as they have an internet connection.
Lastly, and potentially most importantly, SaaS is typically an incredibly cost-effective choice for most organizations. While different SaaS options will have varying pricing models, they tend to be more affordable than competing solutions.
Cons of SaaS
As is true of any service, no matter how beneficial, SaaS comes with a few downsides. The most notable of those cons is that SaaS typically does not include a comprehensive security package. Instead, it will remain the responsibility of your in-house IT team to maintain security measures for the programs you use.
Additionally, using SaaS requires your IT team to remain organized and vigilant to ensure your teams remain compliant with the terms and conditions of your SaaS agreement. This means ensuring that your teams are using the correct number of licenses while also guaranteeing that you are paying the correct subscription fee for the services you purchase. Overall, this means that a large portion of your IT management will continue to take place in-house.
Pros of Managed Service
The comprehensive nature of managed service is its main benefit for businesses and organizations. In fact, many managed services are designed to completely replace your entire IT team.
Managed services are essentially a way for you to outsource your IT to a third-party expert so that you don't need to deal with it yourself. In many instances, MSPs will be available to you during all hours of the day. They will also be responsible for managing all aspects of your IT infrastructure.
Managed service will also include comprehensive security management, guaranteed digital compliance, and access to professionals with niche expertise. Those who provide managed service will also take time to learn about your company so that they are able to resolve issues quickly when they arise while also making informed suggestions as to how your IT infrastructure can improve.
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Cons of Managed Service
The first con of managed service is price. Generally, the comprehensive nature of managed service means that it will be less affordable than a simpler IT solution such as SaaS. However, measuring the true cost of managed service can be difficult since using this service typically means you won't need to pay an in-house IT team.
The lack of an in-house IT team can also be a con for some. After all, it can be far more convenient to speak with a team member within your organization to resolve tech issues than it is to speak with a third party that has many other organizations to attend to. As such, using managed services does not always provide the personal touch and ease of access that a traditional in-house IT team can provide.
Is SaaS or Managed Service the Right Choice for You?
SaaS and managed service both come with advantages and disadvantages, of which you are now aware. However, deciding which of these options is right for you requires you to have a full understanding of your organization's technology needs.
For example, organizations that have a well-established and properly functioning IT team may do best with a SaaS solution that simplifies the software side of IT infrastructure. By contrast, those interested in a more comprehensive solution and also moving IT out of the house would be better off using a managed service.
Every business and organization is unique in its IT requirements. Since that's the case, the best approach is to learn all the details behind the differences between SaaS and managed service before you can settle on the right solution for your teams. Here at Level 3 AV we’re glad to help you discover the right choice for your company.