The great thing about automating business processes is that things become, uh, automated. But this obvious benefit becomes ironic when automation isn’t used to its full potential or becomes unwieldy.
Through trial and (mostly) error, individual business computer work stations and mobile devices become isolated compartments of expertise, where sharing is stunted and corporate memory is buried in a morass of ad hoc approaches to continuous challenges.
Software as a service (SaaS) is set to become mainstream in 2014 as organizations replace on-premises systems with cloud applications… SaaS is a deployment model that is particularly suited to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
SMEs that have not yet considered SaaS Cloud need to look past the status quo of their current IT automation and recognize the following:
1. On-premises, mission-critical software and supporting hardware infrastructure are on the road to obsolescence. That obsolescence can either be gradual or precipitous, depending on the market and competition. Either way, it is still inevitable, and SaaS developers and vendors keep up, while their clients stay agile and up to date.
2. The web has gone way beyond global in the sense that market accessibility is no longer restricted to the “big guys.” It used to be that the big players were able to trump smaller competitors with sophisticated and expensive software. SaaS levels that competition. Add IaaS (the I is for infrastructure) and SMEs can overcome the hardware and network obstacles as well.
3. SaaS turns the diffuse into the focused. A well-designed business application, accessible on the Cloud — rather than installed, nurtured and continually updated locally — gives everyone a piece of the action. Jealously guarded spreadsheets, vital customer contact and sales records — and everything managers need to manage — can all be consolidated and brought under the same roof.
So business leaders who have their heads in the clouds (pun intended) hoping to grow, prosper and stay competitive need to look into the advantages of SaaS.