It’s no secret that software is a major driver of modern business.
Today, technology infrastructure is the foundation upon which services are built, and today you cannot survive, let alone compete, without a robust software support system, which is basically a foregone conclusion.
However, every decision you make to improve your organization has pros and cons.
The decision between enterprise software or SaaS software as your marketing and SEO infrastructure model will of course depend on the same laborious decisions you apply to any other aspect of your business.
Enterprise or SaaS software is inherently neither good nor bad. To be sure, there are differences, but what’s right for you will depend on the size of your business, your needs, and your financial capabilities.
So, what is the difference between enterprise software and SaaS software?
Let’s find out.
Choosing Marketing Software for Your Business
Let’s say you’re the CTO or Marketing Officer of an enterprise business (or anyone else who makes those decisions).
You know that there are gaps in your ability as a company to serve customers, and you know that a significant portion of those gaps are due to technical deficiencies.
If you know your business and operations well enough, you may be able to come up with some solid ideas for where you currently fall short and what you need in a software upgrade.
Here are some examples of concerns you might raise:
- Our current software infrastructure is not friendly to collaborationand the team complained about lost communication and productivity.
- Customers say they have difficulty interacting with their accounts on our sitebut we cannot address their concerns in the current system.
- Our marketing software cannot integrate with various other applications, But we know the new system will be able to handle them.
Understanding your needs and your abilities is a great step forward – if you’ve identified a problem, congratulations.
If you are capable and approved for an upgrade, we will congratulate you further.
However, the next question has arisen, which is essentially the title of this article.
Which software model is right for you, enterprise or SaaS?
You can’t know until you know their differences, so let’s dive into them.
What is enterprise software and who is it for?
Both types of software are designed to improve business operations by better serving the organization and its customers.
In its most basic form, enterprise software is a technology that meets business needs and solves problems.
So whatever functionality an enterprise-level business needs, the software can handle it, whether those needs involve customer relationships, technical support, email integration across applications, or team collaboration.
Enterprise software can increase efficiency and increase productivity.
However, compared to SaaS software, it’s the crux of the matter: enterprise software is owned by the enterprise.
It is software developed and installed on-site and can be accessed locally.
It’s proprietary software; once it’s done, the business owns it top-down.
The emergence of enterprise software has many benefits.
You choose developers with the required technical capabilities.
You can work with them and tell them all your needs in terms of features and support, which is critical because this will be your business’ software.
The software will meet your needs and its design will be entirely based on your operations.
To sum it up: Enterprise software is made for you and responds to your every whim.
You host it on-site, understand the security measures of that hosting, and are free to change its functionality as needed.
The matchup sounds perfect, but there’s still a problem or two.
Full stack custom software development is not an easy task, so the cost of entrusting and owning enterprise software can be high.
We are talking about a most likely number falls within the six-digit rangeeven as high as three-quarters of a million.
If I could be flippant for a moment: they don’t call it enterprise Software is nothing.
The implicit conclusion is that enterprise software is for the most established enterprise companies—those with the budget to pay for custom proprietary software.
It’s always a matter of convenience and money.
The upfront cost of your enterprise software may be much higher, but its ease of use, full integration with all other software components, and generally lower (but still present) maintenance costs over time pay dividends.
What is SaaS software and who is it for?
Now that you understand enterprise software and what it means, the definition of SaaS software may already be right for you.
In contrast to enterprise software, SaaS refers to “software as a service.”
The biggest overall difference between the two is that SaaS is software that you pay a monthly subscription fee to use, not software that you own.
Like enterprise software, SaaS software is an invaluable tool for streamlining business operations and ultimately delivering a better service or product to your customers.
But let’s talk about the main differences.
Proprietary enterprise software represents a sea change in the way your business handles things internally.
At the same time, SaaS software doesn’t disrupt the flow of things too much.
It was relatively easy to introduce because it was set up to work a certain way, and it always did.
The provider’s support team can guide you through the platform, which is another benefit: you can visit a help desk or customer service line for any needs you may have with the software.
If you pay for the service, you can use the provider as a resource.
The last major benefit discussed with SaaS (one of the main differences between SaaS and enterprise software) is cost.
With SaaS, you pay a monthly fee to use the software and that’s it.
If you need to maintain or update anything, this is all considered and handled in your plan.
By the way, this monthly fee will be significantly lower than the upfront cost of hiring a development team to build the infrastructure from scratch.
So, on the one hand, SaaS is more affordable than enterprise software, and it has a fee structure that allows you to predict the future budget of your business.
But, on the other hand, the money you save is what you pay for convenience (at least to a degree).
SaaS can be as customizable to your needs as possible, but here’s the thing: its possibilities are limited.
There’s no guarantee of functionality in all areas that your business needs because it wasn’t built specifically for you.
In this case, you also shouldn’t expect SaaS software to integrate with all your current programs and applications, since again its functionality is limited by how it was originally built.
A final point worth mentioning is that SaaS software is uncomfortable for some business leaders due to its shared hosting.
It depends on your philosophy on the subject, but with an enterprise solution you are running the software and the security of your data.
With SaaS, you can group with your provider and everyone using the platform.
Violating one can mean violating the others.
Therefore, it is necessary for you to do due diligence on any SaaS provider you are considering to understand the security measures you can expect when using the service.
Will you choose enterprise software or SaaS software?
I hope it’s now easier for you to decide whether enterprise software or SaaS software is best for you and your marketing organization.
You should know the pros and cons.
While enterprise software will be more time-consuming and expensive, you’ll appreciate its fully customizable features.
And, just as you know that using SaaS software can give you a smaller price tag and a predictable budget, you also realize that it may not meet all your needs because it wasn’t designed for you.
Which one you choose depends on your resources, the size of your business, your needs, and where you predict all of these things will go in the future.
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