No matter how small or big your business is, you could be suffering with having to put up with numerous manual processes on a daily basis. These repetitive processes may be very cumbersome and unproductive in the long run.
- Mistakes – Manual processes lead to mistakes which may not be visible until they cause huge losses to the business
- Time wasted – Repetitive work wastes time and decreases employee productivity. This becomes worse when mistakes are made.
- Less info sharing – Unlike digital information, hard copies of data (even excel files for that matter) are not easily shareable and discoverable. A business has a very minimal or no value if information is not shareable or discoverable easily.
- Wrong decisions – Having poor access to information will lead to incorrect decision making.
- Staff dependency – Manual processes with little information sharing creates dependencies on people.
- Security risks – When you store information manually, it would be very tough to secure them. This could be due to natural disasters or with intentional human related activities. You cannot apply different access levels or security procedures depending on the type of information.
The end result could be very damaging to your business! Therefore, it’s important that any business irrespective of size or nature of business, automate their processes as a long term strategic investment.
The Management on the other hand should consider the options of either automating the business with cloud computing and SaaS or on-premise software. Either way, it is software that plays a vital role in this regard.
Transformation from On-premise to SaaS
Years ago, the thought of a small business getting access to world-class software was practically impossible. The cost of buying and maintaining software was something a small business could not afford. When it comes to a medium or a large scale business, it would still have been a time consuming costly affair. Those enterprise applications seldom achieved the return on investment (ROI) even in situations where implementations were successful.
Coming back to the present, Cloud Computing and SaaS(Software as a Service) has opened up new avenues to help easily manage businesses. SaaS provides access to innovative and quality software that might have been otherwise unapproachable through traditional software license models.
What areas can be automated with Cloud Computing and SaaS
SaaS has now become a common delivery model for many business applications. The following sections discusses some of the most common areas where SaaS is popular.
CRM(Customer Relationship Management) Software
As per Gartner, that more than 47% of all CRM systems are now SaaS based. However, most of these SaaS based CRMs may be missing some important cloud fundamentals. One reason is that they may inherit a legacy component because they got ported to cloud from on-premise software. Another could be that they were built during the initial days of cloud computing, hence not using the latest, robust cloud infrastructure available today. This may result in poor redundancy, missing disaster recovery mechanisms and even poor UI.
Latest cloud born CRMs such as BuzzFlow CRM utilizes the full spectrum of cloud capabilities therefore gives a robust software with an intuitive UI.
Email and Office Apps
Most businesses who are moving to cloud first start with email. There are 2 popular choices available; Google Apps (now called G Suite) or Microsoft Office 365. Both options are popular nowadays.
Service desk, IT asset management, calling/conferencing infrastructure, cyber security for SaaS are some of the categories with sufficient readily available SaaS solutions. For example, Okta is a leading CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker) and Cybersecurity-as-a-Service provider, protecting enterprises from compromised accounts, cloud malware, and data breaches in the cloud.
This is an area where the new SaaS HCM software are challenging the traditional on-premise HCM vendors. However, we can now see that even the traditional vendors are rolling out SaaS versions of their software.
Finance and Accounting
Quickbooks is a good example of a SMB accounting software which started as a DOS application hosted inside the business and now evolved to provide Quickbooks Online which is a SaaS. Similarly there are many other solutions in the market now offering these type of solutions at an affordable price.
ERP vendors have been slow to get on the SaaS bandwagon. However, in contrary, NetSuite, a service founded in 1998 as a web hosted service is now available as a SaaS for medium to large enterprises.