5 Reasons SaaS providers are the answer for energy
Jun 16, 2019
Head of Pre-Sales
Approximately, 75% of companies are already running entirely on a true SaaS platform*.
Many utilities companies are still building new complex solutions internally or paying extortionate consulting fees for solutions that already exist on the market.
However, utility suppliers can now leverage an already existing SaaS provider to solve their problems long before they even become problems and at a pace that is in line with the market.
So, what are the top 5 reasons for using a SaaS solution in energy from a technology perspective?
1 - Agility of the cloud for SaaS providers
True SaaS companies aren’t hosted on hardware. There are no infrastructure headaches or ongoing maintenance costs to contend with.
Having the ability to log in to your cloud-hosted SaaS platform from anywhere, allows for agility in responding to issues and managing a portfolio of customers in a more streamlined manner.
Naturally, hosting on the cloud doesn’t come without risks, as with any technology. However, with security being a big focus in today’s modern age, there are routes companies can take to maintain a high-level security.
Hosting your software on the cloud allows breathing room to concentrate on what really matters, a good customer service. It has the potential to reduce costs without reducing service, alongside structured data housekeeping.
Energy customers are increasingly after the best deal and by using the cloud it can increase the delivery of persuasive propositions at a price point that is sustainable, when maintained properly.
2 – Analysing your data effectively
Installing smart adapters and meters has increased the amount of data available.
However, with the increase in the amount of data items collected per month, per meter, what happens if you’re lacking the correct analytics tools to decipher your customer information correctly?
SaaS platforms should unlock the ability to access and use that data, in real-time, with no lag. No waiting hours or days for a report to be batch-processed or having to read data aggregated in spreadsheets that require highly analytical minds to decipher correctly, with little human-error.
Let your SaaS provider give you the data you need to create compelling customer propositions. Having a SaaS platform isn’t always conducive to good data and the use of it. Securing a partnership with a good SaaS provider is key as they will be the conduit to unlocking great usage of data.
3 - Security levels when using a SaaS platform
Utilising the agility of the cloud isn’t the only benefit to not hosting onsite. Shifting the responsibility over to your SaaS provider means they take on the hosting risk. This means that they will have stringent service level agreements in place that keep pace with the industry.
These solutions often are far more secure than a typical in-house solution as they are in enterprise-grade data centres, with security, staffing, and monitoring that most companies can’t hope to match.
SaaS providers often run a monthly subscription model. This creates a manageable breakdown regarding your costs. Without the need for time-consuming on-premise work and expensive hardware installations, SaaS solutions are more affordable because a SaaS model means automatic updates and features for the customer.
What’s more, is these fees include the maintenance and improvement of the service. No longer will you have to pay to upgrade your infrastructure or pay for a new release/feature.
In addition, SaaS solutions benefit from economies of scale – a single SaaS code can be deployed across multiple customers; these cost savings are oftentimes reflected in the lower subscription costs.
Instead of servicing individual accounts, a SaaS provider can continuously update and monitor a single code, decreasing the development resources needed to maintain service to each customer. The benefits in cost saving can be passed onto the consumer.
5 - Scalability and integration
Most legacy integration technologies, like enterprise service buses (ESBs) were designed in the on-premise era, and struggle to support modern API-connectivity beyond the firewall.
Couple this with the already difficult task of growing an energy supplier business the last thing that is needed are the pains of onsite infrastructure and outdated software.
By using a SaaS provider to help you grow, you can benefit from their expertise in scaling and integrating.
Cloud hosted software will benefit from server capacity planning as a given, meaning your SaaS provider will ensure you can scale when you need to.
Most SaaS providers will also have multiple solutions in their ecosystem (By 2025, 85% of business apps they use will be SaaS-based *) with other SaaS providers so you can benefit from already in place integrations or reduced time to benefit on new integrations allowing suppliers to differentiate their propositions by focusing on what matters for them.
By using an integration platform, then you can take advantage of the best-of-breed solutions you need, whether it be for battery storage or electric vehicle charging management.
What does this mean for utilities?
SaaS solutions are an affordable alternative offering flexibility that energy suppliers can benefit from. Such as: lower implementation barriers, lower costs, agility of modern software architecture and continuous feature upgrades.
The list of 5 reasons above is not exhaustive and further benefits can be found by talking to leading SaaS providers. A massive benefit for utilities providers is the quick access to data afforded by agile SaaS solutions.
The energy industry is built on data flows and with the implementation of Smart, there has never been a better time to utilise this data.