In this IDS Insights series, Lisa Nowak, director of SaaS and Marketplace Platforms, dispels the five most common myths about platforms enabling software-as-a-service (SaaS) in the cloud in the secured finance industry.
What Secured Finance Lenders Should Know
Despite the growing digital transformation in all industries, the majority of people are still hesitant to embrace the cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS). Like with any change, we fear or believe things based on assumptions rather than experience and proof points.
My goal with this six-part series – Top 5 SaaS in the Cloud Myths Debunked: What Secured Finance Lenders Should Know – is to help dispel these myths and clear up some of the more common misunderstandings.
IDScloud™ – A Cloud-based Platform Enabling SaaS for Origination and Portfolio Management
Throughout this series, you’ll learn why and how SaaS solutions delivered via a cloud platform, like IDScloud, are ideal for any company of any size. This model enables rapid deployment of SaaS applications and core platform services for quick time-to-value today and scalability as your business grows in the future (by volume, new markets, etc.). And with pricing transparency, you understand and pay for the capacity you use.
Additionally, a cloud-based solution means you and everyone on your team can access the system and your data easily, securely, and safely and at any time. And with core platform services, integration, frameworks, and pre-built integrations, you can generate analytics and leverage insights that you never had visibility to before.
Ultimately, a true SaaS solution in the cloud means you close deals quicker, capitalize on more opportunities safely and securely, reduce your operational costs, expedite decision-making and create a positive customer experience. So let’s clear up some of those myths surrounding the cloud and SaaS.
SaaS in the Cloud Myth 1: SaaS is not Suitable for all Company Sizes.
One of the most common myths that comes up is that a SaaS model is designed for certain-sized organizations. Some smaller companies think they don’t have the technical savvy, the volume, or the budget to benefit from a cloud-based platform and SaaS applications. While larger secured finance organizations are more concerned if SaaS can meet their needs around scalability, performance, cross-regional requirements, and integrations.
Working with customers across the spectrum, we’ve learned that SaaS in the cloud is a viable model for any sized organization in the secured finance industry. That’s because cloud platforms, and the SaaS solutions they enable, are engineered as flexible and modular to accommodate all company sizes with near on-demand scalability that grows as your business grows.
I’ve worked with small startups using Excel spreadsheets to large national and global organizations moving from their on-premise IT system – and all have experienced success with SaaS-enabled solutions via a cloud platform. Size, geographic reach, or even an organization’s digital maturity doesn’t matter when capitalizing on SaaS benefits.
SaaS in the Cloud Myth 2: Security of a SaaS Platform is Unproven.
Security is everyone’s concern – and rightly so – and secured finance lenders want to make sure their data and the platform and SaaS applications they leverage as critical to their business are safe for their customers and internal users. But the assumption that the security of a cloud-based platform (and enabled SaaS applications) is unproven is false.
Think about the work you do every day. You are more than likely interacting with a SaaS solution in the cloud several times a day when you’re on the phone or computer – Salesforce, LinkedIn, Office 365, JIRA, Slack, Zoom, etc.
With those examples, the security of SaaS as a model is proven. However, I would recommend talking with your specific SaaS provider to learn how they handle and approach security in the cloud. I also encourage secured finance lenders to work with a SaaS provider that possesses reputable third-party audit assessments like System and Organization Controls (SOC). Learn more about SOC.
SOC is a set of guidelines generated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and developed to ensure security, availability, confidentiality, and process integrity of financial organizations. In achieving SOC 2 type II validation, an organization has proven its platform is designed and operationalized to keep ‘clients’ sensitive data secure. Review latest IDS SOC-Report
SaaS in the Cloud Myth 3: SaaS is Complex to Buy and Use.
Is SaaS complex to buy and use? No.
You don’t need to be technically savvy to benefit from a cloud platform that delivers SaaS solutions. In fact, platforms are intentionally designed for simplicity – from IT infrastructure to ongoing deployments to leveraging ready-to-consume features and core platform services that continually innovate in the background without disrupting your operations or workflow.
SaaS is so easy to use that your team is up and running quickly with immediate access to the tools that help close deals more quickly – and all with minimal onboarding. You’ll experience a faster time to value with a simple-to-use SaaS solution delivered via an open-finance platform, like IDScloud.
And no headaches when it comes to access – your team can easily connect with a cloud-based platform from anywhere – at home, on the road, in the office. All they need is an internet connection to benefit from the automated features that help them better serve your customers efficiently and effectively. And you can easily approve authorized users with instant access.
SaaS is definitely not more complicated to purchase. Rather, it’s the scope of services that is different. Having a conversation with your SaaS provider and asking the right questions will help you understand the value exchange and benefits of a cloud-based model and how SaaS makes sense for your business today and future growth.
A true SaaS solution like IDScloud makes it easy to grow your business by freeing up time and resources to do more of what you already do well. This gives you the power to quickly enter new markets, launch new products or finance new asset types – with no concern over updating technology, purchasing additional hardware or software licenses, or learning new systems. And with IDScloud, pricing is consumption-based, so you only pay for what you need and use.
The SaaS-platform approach drives faster time-to-value by offering core services and pre-built integrations for common tasks and integrations. This approach also enables rapid deployment of SaaS applications and their ongoing upgrades and maintenance.
SaaS in the Cloud Myth 4: SaaS Limits Data Access.
The most common cloud-based myth I hear in nearly every conversation with potential customers is that using SaaS applications in the cloud limits access to data. There’s a historical notion or frustration that once you move to a cloud platform, it’s really hard to leverage your data and use it in meaningful ways for your business.
That’s no longer true. SaaS providers and major cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), are keenly focused on providing services that enable secure, flexible, agile options for data engagement.
With SaaS-platform providers today, you’ll find a variety of options when it comes to engaging with your data in a secure, reliable, and efficient manner. These options align to customer-use scenarios and range from in-application reports to data streaming, where data elements are structured for reporting, analytics, and modeling from your data warehouse or downstream integration.
SaaS in the Cloud Myth 5: Hosting and SaaS in the Cloud are the Same Thing.
Hosting a solution in the cloud is not the same as SaaS in the cloud. And that’s an important distinction when you’re thinking about moving your secured finance business operations to another type of model. I think what’s most important here are the adhering to standards as well as roles and responsibilities. Are core services available to speed time to common tasks and integrations? What are you responsible for and what is the vendor responsible for?
Cloud platforms and the SaaS applications they enable drive a common standards orientation in their platform services, integration frameworks and configurability so integrations can be accomplished in a low/no-code manner that ensures future maintainability and support.
Typically, in a hosted model, the vendor is responsible for managing the infrastructure, while you are typically responsible for the applications hosted on it. They provide the infrastructure, and you manage the software solutions, including maintenance, testing, upgrades, etc.
With a true SaaS provider, you are purchasing the right to use proven and ready-to-consume software that is web-enabled, accessible over the internet, and fully serviced by experts. A SaaS platform ensures new and innovative technology brought to the market deploys in an ongoing cadence that benefits both business and tech users.
Essentially, with a hosted model, the onus of maintaining and testing software belongs to you, and the time to leverage innovation is slower. The scope of services with a SaaS provider is greater. More secured finance organizations are choosing outcomes over ownership to grow their business (e.g., consuming services rather than owning and managing the infrastructure that provides those services). Tapping into a global technology vendor that innovates at the pace of change as new technologies emerge provides exceptional value to you. And a holistic SaaS platform, like IDScloud, delivers expert, fully managed services that includes both infrastructure and application management so you and your team can focus time and energy on other parts of the company to grow your business.
Lisa Nowak, Director of SaaS and Marketplace Platforms