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What now? The appeal of SaaS offerings for businesses in the ‘next normal’

Jonathan Bowl, AVP & general manager, UK, Ireland & Nordics at Commvault explores the newfound draw of software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings in the wake of Covid-19.

The beginning of this year saw an expected rise in the use of cloud, as 87% of public sector organisations surveyed by UKCloud expressed a desire to move their traditional IT environments into the cloud.

No one could have predicted just how much the actual rate of cloud adoption in the UK would grow this year, though. Organisations not already in the cloud across the globe were compelled to migrate to it by enforced remote work driven by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On top of this, dispersed workforces also provoked a sharp rise in ransomware attacks this year as cybercriminals took advantage of insecure networks. In fact, 62% of organisations reported being a victim of a ransomware attack this year.

As a result of this, it is predicted that the SaaS market will be the largest market segment and, due to the scalability of subscription-based software, is forecasted to reach $116 billion in 2020 by the end of the year.

As well as the need to protect worker data as businesses continue to work from home, the overall demand, legislation and compliance requirements of simple SaaS (or SaaS-based) solutions are all components creating a groundswell of demand for them. 

The rise of SaaS

The value, and inherent operational simplicity, of as-a-service models in wider IT environments is becoming clearer every day. Businesses are now looking for – and want to be ahead of the curve in adopting – modern consumption models and cloud technologies to maintain a competitive edge in the developing digital landscape.

Businesses globally are facing a very difficult time, as they attempt to decipher how best to protect and secure their IT environments. The conversation has now rapidly shifted from deciding if businesses should put workloads in the cloud to which workloads they should move to the cloud first.

Alongside the adoption of cloud comes the wider adoption of newer economic models that IT organisations may not historically be used to. Generally, one way to consider this is with an OPEX model, over a CAPEX model.

A match made in heaven: SaaS and businesses 

A SaaS solution is an attractive and viable option for organisations today, as it revolves around simple subscriptions, predictable costs, and no large (or small) capital investments.

SaaS becomes particularly valuable when trusted organisations collaborate to build a service: SaaS with data protection is one such example of this.

By providing enterprise-grade protection with the same benefits and consumption model as existing SaaS solutions, SaaS with data protection is capable of helping companies to:

  • Continually support cloud-first initiatives or journey to the cloud
  • Discard tech debt, without sacrificing security
  • Quickly expand and scale to support ever evolving workloads and SaaS apps.

Organisations can easily transition to cloud storage without needing to manage, monitor and secure it separately from their data protection service. One key consideration to keep top of mind, however, is that data stored in the cloud is still a business’s responsibility. 

It is vital that businesses look for cost-effective and enterprise-grade protection without complexity in order for it to meet business objectives.

The best solutions on the market will provide SaaS data protection that’s capable of reducing costs, decreasing overheads and eliminating headaches.

With this, companies can save precious budget finances on things like network, hardware and infrastructure expenses. What’s more, they will benefit from fully hosted data protection, thus avoiding facing installation, configuration or large upfront capital investments again.

More advanced SaaS models will also be able to deliver built-in protection against cyber-attacks through air-gapped and immutable copies of data, together with hardened security controls that prevent unauthorised access to backup data.

Given the continued threat of ransomware, which has only increased this year, watertight protection such as this is invaluable right now for companies across all sectors.

As the pandemic continues to shift and shape the business environment, it is key that companies put their trust in a model provider with longevity, profitability and sustainability at its heart.

Above looking at startups who may not be around for much longer, investing in a solid provider allows IT departments to de-risk their entire infrastructure with a modern data protection model.

While the future remains uncertain for now – and arguably indefinitely – it is time for companies to best prepare by utilising SaaS technology to tackle their data protection challenges head-on.   

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