All types of recreation organizations have been doing more with less over the last few years. That trend will continue as budgets remain tight, but service expectations continue to rise. One way to save time and money is with technology, specifically software that can help automate back-office tasks. But organizations have many options when it comes to software ranging from solutions they host themselves to ones hosted by the provider (in the cloud). Today, we’ll break down the latter and why it makes sense in this economy:
What is Software as a Service (SaaS)?
SaaS is any type of software system that is passed to the user over the internet. Rather than installing hardware, software on computers, and running on a self-hosted server, SaaS users can access a system over the internet (or the cloud. Recreation software, for example, helps organizations offer online registration, facility scheduling, and memberships, as well as manage POS, reporting and other parts of the business. If that system is accessed over the internet rather than hosted internally by the organization, time and money savings could be big. Here is why SaaS makes sense in today’s world:
1. Low Upfront and Incremental Costs – Organizations avoid up-front investments in computer hardware, software licenses, and web servers, and ongoing costs like upgrades and maintenance.
2. Faster Implementation and Results – Since SaaS solutions are hosted externally, organizations can get the system set up quickly and running.
3. Convenience With Web-Based Access – SaaS allows for users to access the system and data at any time, from any computer with an internet connection and a password. That means you can access it from home or the soccer field for registration day, for example.
4. Vendor Accountability – SaaS applications are subscription-based, which means that customers have the flexibility to not renew if they are dissatisfied, making providers more accountable.
5. Reduced Burden on IT and Key Stakeholders – Because the SaaS provider is responsible for maintaining the IT infrastructure, the burden on an organization’s IT staff is lifted. That means that IT departments can focus on other tasks than maintenance for the recreation department.
Do you use hosted or non-hosted rec software? Comment below.