Top 10 Reasons for On-Demand Solutions
As promised in my last article, these are my own Top 10 reasons why organizations should adopt SaaS/On Demand solutions:
1. Focus: It goes without saying that companies do the best when they operate within their organization's core competency. By getting rid of distractions an organization is better able to focus on its unique value-add. An analogy - all companies use electricity but none make it.
2. Reduced Costs: SaaS solutions have a much more attractive investment profile. Almost all SaaS solutions start with moderate up front investment that enables your return to grow with your investment versus having to capture it back over 18 - 36 months.
3. Leverage Best Practices: Most SaaS solutions have evolved to encompass best practices through the volume of experience gained by interacting on a particular business process automation problem. An organization is infinitely better off leveraging this expertise and adapting its execution to embrace it. Extensive customizations are like a ball and chain - they are heavy and no fun to carry with you over time.
4. Time to Value: Return on investment is comprised of three items. Investment - cash out to reach some goal. Return - value back. Time - time it takes to start getting your return. Since SaaS solutions are packaged and ready to use, there is a much shorter window until the returns start. i.e. no infrastructure to build = quicker time to value.
5. Solution Consumability: Change is an attribute of life - do it or become extinct. Too big of a change, too fast or too little too late and you are toast. Highly packaged SaaS solutions are ideally suited to the evolutionary approach - take a step and then adapt to environmental conditions.
6. You Don't Know What you Don't Know: Heaven and Hell are in the details. No one is an expert in an area without living it. There is always complexity hiding under the covers as projects scale.
7. Accountability: Who would you feel more comfortable holding accountable - your internal IT organization - part of which just got outsourced - or a company that is in business to solve your problem?
8. No Shelfware: We have all heard the horror stories from the 90's - millions of dollars of value setting on the shelf - consuming a solution as a service eliminates this risk.
9. Pain Avoidance is Good: If everything went as planned there would be no need for management. Suffice it to say - it does not. So where do you want to spend your valuable organizational bandwidth? Avoiding a task avoids the pain associated with its growth and development. I don't really care how the car works - as long as it takes me where I want to go.
10. Simplicity! A packaged simple to use service is always better than purchasing the parts, putting it together, and maintaining it. KISS - Keep it Simple Stupid!
There were several excellent Top 10 lists on various topics associated with SaaS. These are the lists I found particularly useful:
1. Bessemer's Top 10 Laws for Being "SaaS-y"
2. Top 10 SaaS Traps: Watch Out For Hidden Snags
3. Crownpeak Challenges Top Ten SaaS Myths