Covid-19 has driven organisations across multiple industry sectors to fast-track their digital transformation journeys, with innovations helping organisations to change the way they operate under challenges such as social distancing measures, travel reservations and more.
The events industry is just one, albeit an important, case in point. When the virus first hit, in-person events had to be cancelled or rescheduled to a much later date. But the industry was quick to find a solution, with businesses rapidly adopting and utilising software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms to host internal and external events online to replace those that would have otherwise happened in-person.
Before the advent of Covid, many businesses were already on a digital transformation journey and already benefiting from SaaS but the pandemic has really shone a light on the benefits of these platforms. SaaS businesses have been built from the requirement for digital transformation, while SaaS products are also enabling these advances in enterprises that have previously been unable to finance proprietary technology internally. Undoubtedly, this growing technology is helping to close the digital gap. Here, we highlight three key ways in which SaaS platforms are helping reshape the way businesses operate today.
- Speeding up the digital transformation process
SaaS has gained traction as businesses increasingly migrate from on-premise deployments to the cloud. Traditionally, organisations tended to use solutions deployed on their own premises which required specialists with the necessary expertise to manage that particular software. This was extremely costly, however, and is one reason for the digital divide we see today.
Businesses are increasingly split across the digital divide. On one side are organisations with seemingly endless resources in terms of finance and workforce talent to build their own platforms and technologies where business operations can be run from. On the other side are businesses that recognise the need to digitise but lack access to the relevant skills, resources and financial sums needed to enable digitisation. Having a digital advantage means those enterprises can foster successful and sustainable business models while the others fall behind. Fortunately for those disadvantaged companies, enterprise SaaS can make all the difference.
- Cutting back on technology costs
From Spotify to Netflix, most of us have used a SaaS product in some way shape or form. We pay a subscription and have access to a world-class platform that adds value to our lives. Enterprise SaaS products work in a similar way but the value that they add also includes increasing competitiveness and building resilience. The best part is that most SaaS platforms are set up for rapid integration enabling enterprises to begin to get value from them straightaway. It’s now possible for businesses to readily replace legacy systems with enterprise SaaS products. This includes everything from CRM platforms to engage with and measure interactions with customers to instant messaging platforms to maintain contact with remote colleagues, while all the time making use of a virtual and hybrid events platform to engage with global markets and win new leads.
The richness of the SaaS market is in the fact that there are numerous providers offering similar tools, enabling enterprises to trial new solutions without financial obligations. But with so many platforms to select from, how can organisations choose the right SaaS provider for them?
- Delivering flexibility and capitalising on the investment
Evaluation of SaaS providers should include analysing whether the solutions provided can be easily integrated with other SaaS platforms, which enables all systems to communicate with each other. The boom in SaaS platforms has made integration between different platforms easier especially in comparison to the complexities experienced during the early days of SaaS.
A thorough business continuity plan is also critically important in an effective SaaS provider, as the platform will store key business data. From a security point of view, they should also have the right certifications and compliances in place, such as GDPR and ISO standard to give you complete reassurance that your data is being properly managed and protected at all times.
ROI is another key consideration for enterprises, especially where budgets are tight. A good SaaS provider will typically offer enterprises their platform on a usage-based or pay-as-you-go model, meaning there is no large investment required at the outset and enterprises can pay a fair and manageable amount that equates to the value they are obtaining from the platform. Many platforms also offer additional features available at an extra cost which enterprises can gradually begin to pay for as they scale up.
Business transformation with SaaS
Among the most common barriers to digital transformation are the financial outlay and integration complexities involved, but more and more it’s the case that organisations are navigating these obstacles with the help of SaaS solutions. As integrations between platforms increase and mass cloud migration continues, it’s becoming possible to expand or even develop a whole business through SaaS platforms. As economic uncertainty continues with unpredictable challenges lying in wait, the requirement for businesses to build their digital transformation strategy is more important than ever. Enterprises can benefit from flexibility, resilience and scalability by adopting SaaS solutions as a key component in their business models moving forward.
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