Every construction project has several stakeholders, contractors, and clients. Unfortunately, sharing data across all of these invested parties can be time-consuming on an already rushed jobsite. Luckily, Cloud computing is a useful method for streamlining communications among team members and creating a more efficient supply chain. And when it comes to project management software, it’s crucial to recognize the differences between Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and hosted software so that you’re able to choose the option that best suits your team’s needs.
What is SaaS?
Software as a service (SaaS) — also called software on demand — allows data to be accessed from any connected device via the Cloud. It is a web-based software model where vendors host and maintain the servers, databases, and code that makeup an application.
SaaS applications can be accessed securely by multiple users, and each typically pays a monthly fee for access. All customers’ data is stored in the same database, but each client’s data is only accessible to themselves. Customization can be limited, but profiles and systems settings can be personalized. This pay-as-you-go solution allows customers to use the software on an as-needed basis, eliminating the need to install it or purchase a license.
In addition to eliminating the need for software installation and user management, another major benefit of SaaS is that it is accessible from virtually anywhere, as long as there is an Internet connection. One of the biggest limitations for companies using traditional on-premise software is that information can only be accessed on the computer where it has been installed. And while it may be costlier in the long run, the limited upfront costs, immediate access, and automatic software updates (which also eliminates the need for on-site IT maintenance and troubleshooting) make it an ideal solution for many industry members.
What is hosted software?
Unlike SaaS, “hosted” means that a customer purchases and owns their software. This option includes software installation via the hosting center, and often requires a costly upfront payment. However, it does tend to cost less in the long run, especially when compared to SaaS.
With a hosted software solution, each customer is treated separately with their own software instances, databases, and servers. This makes hosted a highly customizable option for the software owner. And since it is owned by a company, hosted software can be updated when it’s convenient (rather than automatically like a SaaS), and it can be customized without affecting any other customers. This means if a customer opts out of continued maintenance, they can use the last version they purchased.
Hosted software is considered secure because the stored data is regularly backed up. However, its reliability can be limited based on the type of hardware used for installation.
One way hosted differs from SaaS is that it has to be installed directly onto a company’s internal server, and it requires continuous IT maintenance. This can be useful for large corporations or government entities that require a high level of security, but may not be ideal for privately owned operations like those found in the Heavy Building Materials industry as it can limit accessibility (which can be useful on jobsites).
So, which project management software is right for you — SaaS or hosted? It ultimately depends on your team’s resources, needs, and, of course, budget. Having a clear understanding of each option before selling this upstairs will help you get the tools you need to succeed on the job.
Contact a Command Alkon support team member today for help deciding which software solution would best serve your needs.