As regional companies look for ways to manage cash flow, the IT solutions sector has reported a 30 % growth in Software as a Service (SaaS), according to Altaf Alimohamed, Managing Director, Media Solutions.
He said that SaaS is increasingly seen as a commercially viable option by organisations as the service requires minimal, upfront investment.
“The SaaS infrastructure can be assembled swiftly and it eliminates the need for upfront investment in IT infrastructure. However, what is also very appealing to businesses is that we use a monthly billing model based on actual consumption,” said Alimohamed.
He explained that SaaS-based solutions also eliminate the need to budget for the costs associated with ongoing software maintenance that traditional applications require.
"Applications, once deployed, are continually maintained by us including upgrades and enhancements. We do not pass the cost of application sustenance to the customer, who, in turn, gets to leverage the ‘current’ version of the applications on a perennial basis. It is a winner," he stated.
Meanwhile, Karl Roe, a SaaS expert at Microsoft Middle East, agreed that SaaS is rapidly gaining popularity in the region.
“Aside from the fact that the management of these solutions is left in the hands of a professional, SaaS is able to help solve the tight cash flow scenario presently faced by many organisations. Our prediction for this year is for a 40 % growth in SaaS in the UAE,” Roe added.
He said that there is a huge savings advantage for organisations that adopt the SaaS approach.
"SaaS-based solutions are a no-brainer, however we need to raise awareness of these products and the potential advantages at corporate and end-user level."
Roe elaborated on the difference in Middle Eastern and global market: “The region is slightly different than worldwide markets as the desire to own kit, as opposed to ‘renting’, is prevalent.
"However, the local market, especially the SME sector is showing that it is now ready for change and is open to outsource IT solutions.”
Alimohamed noted that there is a need to develop the community of IT solutions service providers who are equipped to deliver these services from within the region.
"Currently, many SaaS-type services are being delivered to the region from outside of the region, but we are now seeing a demand for on-the-ground contact and this too is helping to drive growth in this sector."
Finds favour with organisations as the service requires minimal, upfront investment