Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Shannon Lowe and Steve Ayala of Verian.
On-premises ERP has typically been the engine that runs internal business processes, including those related to spend visibility and cost management.
Not without a growing list of challenges, however.
A recent Gartner study* found that many companies are “tired of the long installations of ERP and upgrades, when other businesses are reaping value such as quick time to productivity, greater ROI, and lower costs.”
What’s the alternative? Out of over 100 companies surveyed, Gartner found that 95% were already using or planned to use SaaS (cloud-based) solutions in the near future.
Correlating with this trend, here are 7 reasons SaaS is the right platform for purchase-to-pay systems:
1. Faster user adoption
Most employees are already familiar with SaaS through the daily use of other Web-based and mobile applications. This familiarity means faster user adoption and a consistent user experience from home, from work and on the road.
2. Reduction of IT support needs
SaaS delivers access to a provider’s software without having it installed on internal network infrastructure, which means no more investments in hardware or time spent troubleshooting with the IT department.
3. Hassle-free upgrades
SaaS removes technical barriers to regular software upgrades. When version upgrades roll out, they happen automatically, often at no additional charge.
4. Business specific configurations
SaaS solutions are inherently flexible, integrating well with other common platforms. They can be easily configured to meet unique business needs without requiring heavy development or customization.
5. Security and safety
The perception that SaaS poses security risks couldn’t be further from the truth. Leading SaaS suppliers offer cutting-edge data security that’s better than what most customer organizations can provide, and the availability of single sign on features means SaaS is naturally private and secure.
6. Affordable monthly payments
One monthly subscription fee is usually all it takes to gain trouble-free access to the latest technology that the supplier offers, making SaaS much less costly than developing and implementing on-premises solutions.
7. Always having the latest features
Unlike on-premises systems, which traditionally require long and expensive upgrades to assimilate new features, SaaS solutions are constantly evolving. Since SaaS upgrades are automatic and system-wide, new features are available to everyone who wants to add them, ensuring constant access to the latest features and technology that is never out of date.
Most businesses surveyed in the Gartner study communicated that the benefits of implementing SaaS technology exceeded their expectations. They were able to measure time to value in less than a year, and many realized a significant reduction in their IT costs.
Choosing SaaS deployment frees up time and money to invest in other key business objectives – and that just makes good sense.
* Source: Gartner. Significant Benefits Realized with Supply Chain Management in the Cloud