It's been a long time coming, but I think we can all agree that SaaS software / cloud computing is here to stay. Salesforce, the granddaddy (and with it’s core CRM product showing signs of this age) of the SaaS industry, coming on to the cloud scene in 1999, heralded the beginning of the SaaS era. We are now in a time when business owners can implement systems that staff enjoy using, actually improve their efficiency, their happiness and help the businesses grow.
With SaaS software you can use everything through a web browser, there is no server room, mainframe, or desktop software to install. This is all seamlessly managed and taken care of remotely by the software provider.
Cloud products for SME's like Xero accounting software, VendHQ point-of-sale, Shopify ecommerce & us here at TradeGecko inventory management, have made a point of focusing on the design and user experience as a competitive advantage.
With the growing adoption of mobile devices and popular web applications by consumers, there is an increasing expectation of a level of quality of design and ease-of-use coming through into business software as well. Using products with amazing user experience will also greatly increase adoption by employees, increase employee satisfaction and save time on important workflows.
With cloud software you're just using the web browser for access, there is nothing to download or install. The software is alway up-to date on all your different computers and devices all the time. Everyone is working from the same version, you'll never run into pesky compatibility issues, and employees can even use it on their personal computers and devices. When the only dependency is an up-to-date browser, everything just works.
If your computer or other device (tablets, phones etc.,) has an internet browser (all computers, and all modern phones do!), you can use your software anywhere. Whether you are on the road, out-of-town on holiday, or in a meeting, if you have an internet connection (and increasingly for some cloud software, like VendHQ - even without an internet connection) you have full access to your systems, your software and your data anytime.
With all the web applications mentioned above, and with most other SaaS providers it is now standard practice to use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption for the transmitting of your data. Password & data encryption is standard.
Most web applications offer an up-time guarantee, and due to the nature of the service if things do go awry they can be sorted in minutes, not days. Managing all the problems and complications that are now standard practice with running desktop software across many different types of operating systems and machines is a thing of the past.
Multi-user login gives your staff the opportunity to collaborate closely on their work - making offloading tasks to the right person at the right time super easy. You can also easily lock down who can see what, to make sure the right people see the right data.
The total cost of ownership of SaaS software is substantially lower than traditional software. Setup fees are minimal or non-existent, and there are rarely long-term commitments or contracts to lock you in to a system.
Cloud software works on your existing computers, no need to buy new specialized hardware or servers.
With cloud software you can buy world-class software at much more manageable price. With existing ERP systems you would be spending tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars adopting, integrating, and training. With the wide array of cloud applications available today there's no need. A wholesaling company can plug together a Xero accounting package, a Shopify e-commerce store and an inventory & order management system and in a matter of hours and be up and running for a couple of hundred dollars a month.
With easy data import and extensive support and training materials available getting started in cloud systems can take minutes or maybe hours. No more days and weeks lost implementing, training the staff and migrating data. With a great on boarding process, growing knowledge base and video resources, SaaS applications allow users to get started in a matter of minutes. In a system such as TradeGecko you can import your products, import your customers and be creating orders and managing inventory in a matter of hours.
So what are you waiting for, the important factors are in play. Invest in SaaS software, cut costs, save time, increase employee happiness, secure your data and much more. Giving your staff world-class tools and implementing the right systems in your business is a great way to give your company the competitive edge.
Image Credit: Dell's Photo Stream