The increased need to implement and execute digital transformation strategies in South Africa has further increased the need for companies to switch to enterprise, cloud-driven IT spending. Companies who have not migrated their operations to be cloud-based are piling up and this is where digitalisation has become the saving grace in corporate environments through cloud-driven IT spending and ultimately growth. Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of cloud adoption has grown significantly this year, as many companies not already in the cloud were compelled to migrate to it by enforced remote work. Not only this, but cybercriminals have taken advantage of dispersed workforces which has provoked a sharp rise in ransomware attacks this year.

It is therefore predicted that the global software-as-a-service (SaaS) market size is projected to reach approximately R 4.98 Trillion by 2026, from R2.57 Trillion in 2020, due to the scalability of subscription-based software. The overall demand, legislation and compliance requirements — and need to protect worker data as businesses rapidly shift to remote work — are all factors creating a groundswell of demand for simple SaaS (or SaaS-based) solutions.

The popularisation of SaaS
Businesses are increasingly understanding the value and the inherent operational simplicity that as-a-service models can bring to their IT environments. They are also looking for – and want to be ahead of the curve in adopting – modern consumption models and cloud technologies to maintain a competitive edge in the developing digital landscape.

Customers across regions are tackling a very challenging time, as they try to figure out how they can protect and secure their environments. The conversation has now rapidly shifted from deciding if businesses should put workloads in the cloud to which workloads they should move to the cloud first. With the adoption of cloud, there comes the adoption of newer economic models that IT organisations may not historically be used to. Often, one of the ways to look at that is through an OPEX, rather than a CAPEX, model.

What can SaaS models offer businesses?
SaaS solutions revolve around simple subscriptions, predictable costs, and no large (or small) capital investments – making it an attractive and viable option for organisations today. SaaS becomes particularly valuable when trusted organisations collaborate to build a service. SaaS with data protection is one such example of this. It provides enterprise-grade protection with the same benefits and consumption model as existing SaaS solutions, capable of helping companies:
• Continually support cloud-first initiatives or journey to the cloud
• Rapidly deploy and scale to support ever evolving workloads and SaaS apps
• Control their data from a single platform irrespective of which multi-cloud components are being used

Companies can seamlessly transition to cloud storage without the need to manage, monitor and secure it separately from their data protection service. One key consideration to keep top of mind, however, is that data stored in the cloud is still a business’s responsibility.

Businesses should be looking for cost-effective and enterprise-grade protection, without complexity. The best solutions on the market will provide SaaS data protection that’s capable of reducing costs, decreasing overheads and eliminating headaches. With this, companies can save precious budget finances on things like network, hardware and infrastructure expenses. Furthermore, they will benefit from fully hosted data protection, meaning they will never face installation, configuration or large upfront capital investments again.

At minimum, your SaaS solution should be able to deliver protection against cyber-attacks by providing at minimum immutable copies of data, together with hardened security controls that prevent unauthorised access to backup data. Given the continued threat of ransomware, which has only increased this year, watertight protection such as this is invaluable right now for companies across all sectors.

Especially as the current business environment continues to shift and is shaped by developments in the pandemic, it is vital that companies invest in a model provided by a company with longevity, sustainability and profitability at its heart. This will allow IT departments to de-risk their entire environment with a modern data protection model, as opposed to looking at start-ups that may not be around for many more years. With the future remaining uncertain indefinitely, now is the time for companies to utilise SaaS technology to solve their data protection challenges to best prepare.