Flexibility, change, action — defining the value of SaaS in today’s economy is impossible to overstate. Organizations need to be able to turn on a dime to meet shifting customer requirements.
Business leaders have noted that XaaS (Anything-as-a-Service) is more than just a technology shift, it’s truly a mindset for today’s individuals who expect everything to be available whenever and wherever they want it. From photo sharing to ride sharing, delivery services to software, people appreciate the ability to be able to shift directions quickly and keep their options open. The lightning-quick shifts required for digital transformation make SaaS the ideal model for data and services delivery in today’s always-on organizations. Creating new models can be highly disruptive to business, and when transitions start in one area they tend to waterfall into other functional business units as well. The speed that SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) promises offers the chance to fail fast and create true digital transformation within even the most steadfast of organizations.
Looking Toward the Future
If your industry is not already feeling the effects of digital change, there’s a good possibility that shifts are coming your way in the near future. Transportation industries have been revolutionized even in the past five years with the introduction of Uber — which spelled the end for many taxi service operations. The same goes for bookstores: look at the number of bookstore closings in the past ten years. With the majority of individuals moving towards eBooks for the instant gratification that they provide, brick and mortar bookstores are going the way of the dinosaurs. The recent trend towards fast delivery with services such as Amazon Prime offering 2-hour delivery windows to many parts of the country, and regional food delivery options such as GrubHub.com, DeliveryDudes.com, and others cropping up on a daily basis. The way we communicate has also changed radically in the past ten years. Instead of picking up a phone to contact someone, you’re much more likely to text them, send them a message on social media or even Skype. The leaders in these industries must be nimble and able to change with customer demand, which is what makes SaaS so appealing.
Benefits of SaaS for Digital Transformation
Customer needs aren’t the only thing that’s changing almost faster than the eye can see. Technology innovations are coming at rapid speed as well, and SaaS provides organizations with the mobile-first, cloud-focused mindset that allows business leaders to dream big and technology teams to create solutions that scale. Workers are pushing tech teams to offer the ability to work in a variety of locations — including wherever they can find a computer with internet access — which means security is of critical importance. IT teams are having a tough time justifying legacy systems that take years to build and perfect, and are instead being pushed to accelerate updates to bring on the hottest new functionality to serve customers more effectively. Here are some of the many benefits that SaaS brings to digital transformation:
- Cost structure: Many organizations find themselves in a situation where they can support a structure ongoing cost but may have difficulty with a huge upfront payment — the hallmark of digital change in the past. SaaS allows organizations the flexibility to pay for advanced technology out of their operating budget, improving the chances to get transformative projects approved.
- Levels the playing field: Enterprise-scale applications were often reserved for the enterprise-scale budgets required to fund them. Cloud-based software delivery allows even smaller organizations to become players. As the cost of data storage continues to decrease, SaaS may be the biggest democratizer in business today by providing massive opportunities for growth to all sizes of organizations.
- Nimble Change: The flexibility of making a quick shift in strategy is something that isn’t easy with traditional software models, and could include upwards of 12-18 months of scoping, contract negotiation, and then finally buildout. With SaaS, new out-of-the-box features can be turned on quickly and configured, promising a reduced time to ROI.
- Scalable: Again, SaaS provides organizations with the ability to start small with smaller budgets, and quickly scale with the click. Since the majority of SaaS projects are hosted offsite, server capacity becomes almost a non-issue for most projects — allowing technology teams and business users to focus on the functionality and value of the platform instead of the cost of hosting and care and feeding of the server. This also allows seasonal organizations to scale back during a certain time of year and quickly ramp up as needed when business picks up, which would be nearly impossible to structure with traditional software builds.
New Business Models
Digital transformation is more than simply employing SaaS and waiting for the “next big thing” to come down the pike. Organizations who successfully invest in and drive digital transformation are those who are addicted to growth, and who are willing to put in the time and effort to make shifts internally that mirror this focus. This could mean a variety of things, from changing job descriptions to outsourcing some basic functionality such as accounting or more operational IT tasks to working with contractors instead of full-time employees to provide as-needed coverage based on business trends. Small, cross-functional teams are much more likely to be successful than a traditional model of IT-heavy implementation teams. This change can allow organizations to fundamentally improve overall operations by expanding the pace of innovation and future-proofing IT investments overall.
While implementing SaaS isn’t going to guarantee your organization’s success, not exploring this model can make growth more challenging. When you’re ready to learn more about how to drive digital transformation in your Central and Northern California business, contact the professionals at Apex via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us help walk you through how SaaS can help your company keep pace with the speed of change through shifting your IT models to support modern business needs. Call us today at (800) 310-2739 to get started.