It’s a familiar challenge for most: Modernize operations while controlling capital expenses.  For government agencies and other organizations managing content amid the push for digital transformation, the challenge means finding ways to eliminate the inherent limitations of paper. To accomplish this, many organizations are moving to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based document management to store, access, and manage content with relatively quick time to value.

How SaaS Works
SaaS is a powerful alternative to traditional software installation. With SaaS, the user does not pay for the software itself. Instead, it’s like a software rental.

Here’s how it works.

Subscription-based pricing model. Instead of paying one large, upfront capital cost to own a version of the software, the software is licensed on a monthly or annual basis.

Cloud-based. SaaS software is hosted in the cloud which means faster implementation times and convenient web-based user access.

Low maintenance. The SaaS provider updates and maintains the software, and users always have access to the latest version without additional cost.

SaaS for Content Management
The SaaS model delivers benefits across all kinds of business solutions—from Microsoft Office 365 to financial software to inventory management systems.
Let’s take a closer look at how SaaS speeds up time to value for content management systems.

1. Faster Implementation

Unlike a traditional software model, SaaS is already installed and configured. The vendor handles setup.  There is no software to install, no firewalls to set up, no backups to configure. You get a turnkey content management system that’s up and running in relatively little time.

Ultimately, this means the value of digitization is realized quickly—sometimes in just a matter of weeks–and that value continually increases since users always have instant access to the latest, most powerful versions of the software.

Plus, SaaS applications usually have a shorter learning curve, which helps speed and ease user training and adoption.

2. Cost Savings & Predictability

SaaS can mean significant cost savings for organizations despite the challenges it might present with traditional budgeting approaches. By shifting the upfront investments of capital and software licensing of traditional IT projects to a cloud-based subscription, organizations eliminate a range of costs including server and storage hardware and new or additional IT resources. Providers can deliver application services at a reduced cost because they are spreading the maintenance, management and licensing costs across multiple clients.

Newer budgeting approaches are recognizing the positive impact that a subscription model has on cash flow, providing a steadier and more predictable cost that only changes relative to the organization’s overall needs. With the SaaS subscription model, cost is typically based on your your size and/or usage. Plus, you’re not having to pay for upgrades and new investments in underlying technology to take advantage of new features.

3. Scalability

When managing digital content, the ability to add additional workflow modules and other functionality, as needed, is important for optimal value. One key benefit of SaaS is scalability. SaaS opens the door for innovation by introducing new functionality and ways to collaborate and share content and information, both within your organization and with your customers.

Its subscription-based, pay-as-you-go model is determined by usage, providing exceptional flexibility. That means you only pay for what you need—when you need it.  This supports your evolving operations and content volume with ease.

4. Simple Integration

SaaS content management solutions can be configured to meet specific content needs and workflows. The most valuable content management systems integrate with other applications, complementing existing processes that work well, not forcing replacement at unnecessary expense.

By integrating with both legacy and new applications, a SaaS content management system can augment existing systems and resources to improve document management, workflows, and processes—critical to deriving the most value.

5. Ease of Use

SaaS provides a digital file room in the cloud. It’s secure and available anytime, anywhere through a simple internet connection, making it easy to search and retrieve content. Collaboration is also key, and SaaS allows clients to share, modify and distribute documents more efficiently and securely. Typically, it also enables automation of processes like archive retention management and more!

6. Security

On-premises servers are vulnerable to the same physical loss as paper files, but cloud-based storage and management offer a much higher level of protection for your data.

Cloud document storage through a SaaS solution also allows you to maintain control over your content with extensive and configurable permission settings, activity tracking, and role-based security.  Encryption, data mirroring, and other safeguards are also built in benefits of cloud-based document management.

A SaaS solution can add value to your business continuity plans as well, especially in regards to protecting you content from costly disaster recovery efforts.

Compliance audits are simplified when you leverage a SaaS solution that is compliant with privacy laws such as the HIPAA, PPACA, FERPA, and more. Not only do you know exactly where and how your records are stored and who has accessed them (and when), but it’s much easier to provide detailed information to auditors.

Bring the Value of SaaS to Your Organization

Generally, the benefits of SaaS make it a smart choice for transforming inefficient, less secure, and more costly paper-based content and processes. To get the most out of a more productive content management system, though, takes an experienced partner that will listen to your specific operational needs and goals, then take a people-first approach to technology solutions.

For more than 25 years, Image API has helped people from organizations across the country work better. Contact us to learn more about how we can put our people-first approach to technology to work for you.