In smaller organizations, IT management can be a real challenge. Technology changes rapidly and qualified staff might not always be on-hand to maintain mission-critical systems, support users and administer the network.
This is complicated by the fact that, given no other convenient option, users will often come up with their own “duct tape” solutions to common information management problems. This can quickly snowball into messy situation where critical business information is randomly scattered across spreadsheets, email attachments, Word documents and sticky notes.
It’s disorganized information and inefficient business processes like these that can often wind up costing companies a lot of money further down the road.
That’s why many smaller and rapidly-growing companies today are now turning to remotely-hosted Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions for management of their IT systems. Some of these systems include Customer Relationship Management (CMS), Web Hosting, Managed Email, Project Management, Online Backup, Office Productivity Suites, etc…
If you can think of it, it’s likely been SaaSed.
In order to fully take advantage of this software model, managers have to be willing to relinquish a small amount of control to a trusted, secure third-party vendor. Also, managers need to establish clearly defined business objectives before implementing these solutions, or they’ll be no better off than they were with their previous solution.
But if you’re committed to integrating SaaS systems in a well-planned strategic manner, you’ll find that the benefits far outweigh the perceived challenges.
- It’s easy and inexpensive to get started with SaaS
- Cloud services generally have a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
- SaaS allows you to get a lot more from your IT department with little or no capital investment
- If the application isn’t successful, you can walk away without losing much
- You can implement new systems more rapidly, and you have access to outsourced expertise when you need it
- SaaS vendors invest heavily in the speed and security of their IT infrastructure
If this approach interests you, consider talking to a Value Added Reseller (VAR) or Technology Integrator. Many of these companies act as agents that maintain relationships with many different SaaS vendors.
Think of these vendors as a “one-stop shop” for your business process management. They have the knowledge and experience to craft a solution that brings together all of the most appropriate solutions in such a way that everything works together seamlessly for your particular IT requirements.
Over time, these vendors will also help you scale your system as you grow, and suggest solutions in anticipation of future problems that you might face down the road.
If you’re currently struggling to maintain your IT systems in the face of rapid growth or limited resources, a “cloud” solution might be what you need.
About The Guest Author: Steven Rodin is President of Storagepipe Solutions. The company has been offering SaaS business solutions since 2001. Their main areas of expertise are online server backup and email archiving.