The talk about SaaS BPM has been doing rounds for over a couple of years now. An increasing number of industry related experts now speak in favor of this integration and one of the main reasons is the level of collaboration that this integration offers. Process managers and others involved with the project, who until recently, had to be physically present together for implementation of the project, can now partake in the input/decision making process from remote locations.
What is SaaS?
Software as a Service (SaaS) is an offering wherein the provider’s role extends far beyond delivering a functional product, and includes providing the customer with availability, scalability, reliability, etc. A good SaaS model would also give its users the ability to personalize and customize their own settings, while also offering common functions to all users. What essentially sets a SaaS model apart from the onsite solutions though is the licensing aspect. As opposed to using a perpetual license, a SaaS solution would come with a subscription model, wherein the ownership of the solution would remain with the provider.
There are various advantages of offering a BPM solutions as SaaS, and apart from increased collaboration, these are the added advantages.
Business Size Not a Constraint:
When it comes to implementing a BPM strategy for a big business, one can expect to bear considerable expenses coupled with risk and complexities. If the business involves more than one location, then infrastructure would have to be provided for each location, and each location could also end up requiring its own support staff. Opting for a SaaS based BPM solution in such a scenario would help not just because you do not have to worry about the technological support, but also because it is, more often than not, a more cost effective option.
Customer Centric Models:
As opposed to using traditional ‘push’ marketing, a SaaS model would be way more customer centric. This is simply because those who create SaaS BPM solutions depend on the renewal of their services to make money, and this ensures that providers interact with their clients on an ongoing basis as opposed to trying to make that single sale.
Opting for a SaaS BPM solution would require a considerably lower investment than opting for an onsite one. Also, the process manager who uses the solution in question would be free to decide on the solution’s suitability, giving the business in question the option to stop using the service if it feels that it is not deriving adequate results from the new implementation.
The Cost Factor:
While there are people who are of the opinion that SaaS BPM solutions end up costing more in the long run, one should also take into account the ongoing expenses for on-site BPM solutions in the form of software upgrades, maintenance, and the dedicated manpower that is required. A SaaS BPM solution also makes it possible for businesses to serve any number of customers by taking away the need for dedicated server space. These solutions which provide automated periodical upgrades and help in lowering the ‘cost of ownership’ , I feel, can be particularly beneficial when it comes to small and medium businesses with little or no internal IT framework, especially considering the economic conditions, a SaaS BPM solutions would be cost effective for an immediate BPM roll-out strategy.
Lastly, while security is cited as a concern in SaaS BPM solutions, this too is being addressed by most providers. Besides, the demand for such solutions is certainly on the rise as businesses look for newer ways to increase productivity. Using SaaS based solutions gives businesses the option to experiment, and after seeing successful results, to delve further into this sphere. So just as more and more businesses look towards SaaS BPM, an increasing number of providers now aim to provide them with relevant products.