SaaS platforms consolidate various business operations, enhancing efficiency and enabling data-driven insights. Because of this, many senior managers want to invest in SaaS tools to drive business success. But how do you navigate the expansive SaaS market and potential barriers to implementation?
Software as a service has become a significant part of the tech landscape, and it’s now one of the leading markets for investment. The global SaaS market is growing quickly and is expected to exceed $908 billion by 2030.
Considering all the noise in this market, you may be unsure where to start. If you plan to invest in and implement a SaaS platform for your business, you must first think through your company’s goals, budget, and potential barriers to successful implementation.
Why Is SaaS Valuable to Modern Businesses?
Software as a service has emerged because of the way the business world is changing. Businesses have had to create new solutions to survive and succeed in a fast-paced, ever-changing digital environment. They’ve had to quickly become comfortable with breakthrough technologies and use them to communicate with and serve clients and customers with new expectations. The draw of SaaS solutions is that they combine multiple business processes into one platform, helping you get complex work done more efficiently.
“Accounting, procurement, project management, risk management and compliance, and supply chain activities can all be managed within one ERP program, ensuring that disparate business functions are relying on the same data for greater consistency,” says Vince Dawkins, CEO and president of Enertia Software. “These capabilities have led 88% of organizations using ERP software to consider its use instrumental to their success.”
SaaS tools also add a level of data-drivenness to operations. They utilize technologies like artificial intelligence and predictive analytics on the backend so that you don’t need to invest heavily in understanding and mastering those areas. You can then access the resulting insights as you work, driving business success.
How to Navigate the Challenges of Selecting SaaS Tools
Cost can be one of the trickiest factors in selecting SaaS tools for your business. SaaS platforms are always evolving, which means their prices are also evolving. Some tools employ a per-usage pricing strategy, while others choose a value-based method or price their platform according to how many users a company will have. On top of these diverse pricing strategies, SaaS platforms will also use different incentive structures in order to make their services more appealing, such as free trials or upgrades.
As a high-level manager, you must determine what price your business is willing to pay. To start, you will need to evaluate the quality of the services being offered. Is the quality high enough? If you could access the same or better quality elsewhere, why would you consider paying extra for a particular software suite? You might find that getting higher quality in one feature is worth paying a little extra; that decision is up to you.
You’ll also want to determine what exactly you need. Are you using the whole platform? Many SaaS tools have a whole suite of features to help business leaders with multiple operations. If you’re not utilizing the whole suite, then the service might not be cost-effective. You may want to opt for a SaaS partner that allows you to pay on a per-feature basis.
It’s also important to factor in other potential costs. The software might not be the only cost you incur when implementing a SaaS solution. Development costs, staff time, licensing fees, etc., will contribute to how valuable the tool eventually proves.
Finally, how much money will a particular platform save you? The beauty of a great SaaS investment is that it cuts out other costs and combines multiple business functions. If your teams work together more efficiently, you can measure those savings to determine whether a SaaS platform is the right pick for you. Where will the tool save you money, time, or human hours? How will this impact your bottom line?
Other Barriers to Implementation to Consider
While pricing can be the most complex challenge of SaaS decision-making, it’s not the only barrier to implementation. As a leader, you will need to balance a SaaS platform’s potential benefits with the challenges that could arise after you adopt it into your technology stack.
One of those challenges will be getting buy-in from and building awareness with your team. If a SaaS tool will revolutionize your workflow, you better ensure the people using it understand and appreciate it. Resentment for a new tool can lead to lower productivity instead of higher.
Ensuring data protection and compliance is another concern you might run into. Customers prioritize data privacy and will expect and assume any platform they interact with is safeguarding their information. You’ll need to ensure their safety on their behalf. Fully examine potential SaaS vendors’ data practices. If you spot a lack of transparency or a country-specific regulation you need to clarify, make sure to do your due diligence.
By doing a little homework to understand the current SaaS landscape, you’ll improve your chances of a successful investment. Yes, the landscape will likely shift again, but you can get ahead of your competition by proactively exploring what new tools and technologies can do for you and your customers.
Written by Rhett Power.
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