A. I'm Comfortable Operating My Business As I Currently Do!
Perpetuation of the ‘status quo.’ By this, continuing to acquire, install, manage, and support business technology ‘in house.’ Or remaining comfortable with where the business is and what they’re doing; not paying attention to changing business environments, customer need/requirement, market and competitive pressures, and technologies that increase business velocity or reduce cost. Cloud Computing and SaaS put your business on a solid foundation that allows you to do business as you wish, without any ‘lock-in’, and change as external conditions demand.
B. I Don’t Want My Business Information Kept Elsewhere!
A perception of the loss of control. When all company information, processes, reports, and communication is kept ‘in house’ it is generally deemed safe and secure. Safe from the competition and secure from theft. Unfortunately, neither of these are true. Studies overwhelmingly show that a decision to keep business information and processes in house doesn’t increase safety and security but, in fact, often compromises critical business information and processes. Cloud Computing and SaaS actually give you more control over your information while substantially increasing the safety and security of your business.
C. I Have a Certain, Unique Way of Doing Business.
Assuming that your business is different than every other business. Over decades of working with businesses of all types and sizes, it is clear that businesses are more similar than different. Sure, there are subtle nuances in some discrete processes, products, or services that provide differentiation or benefit. But these represent a small part of the business and not the ‘core’ or mainstream transactions and processes. The bulk of transactions and processes that your business conducts are very common to businesses in general.
D. SaaS Sounds Expensive. I’m Already Spending Too Much on Technology.
Not true at all! As you know, the cost of any business tool cannot be overlooked. After all, if you cannot make more through what you spend, it’s not a good choice. Technology, when adopted and deployed properly has a rich history of returning much more to the business than its initial and ongoing costs. Cloud Computing and SaaS help you in two dimensions - they save you money and return more on dollars spent.
E. I Don’t Have a Lot to Spend on Technology for My Business.
Assuming that you need a large capital budget to adopt Cloud Computing and SaaS. In fact, the opposite is true. Generally speaking, all you need is the ability to pay a monthly subscription payment - just like your mobile telephone or automobile lease payment. With Cloud Computing and SaaS you don’t need any ‘capex’ (capital expenditure) investments.
F. I Have Already Invested in Technology and People Within My Business.
Thinking that current investments can’t be repurposed to other, more strategic uses. It is great that you already use technology in your business. And, that you are forward thinking to have your own technology support resources. Businesses that consider and transition to Cloud Computing and SaaS report that they were able to re-use their computing resources, ‘in- house’, for more strategic purposes and the personnel reassigned to more customer- focused, revenue-generating activities. Cloud Computing and SaaS free up key resources to accelerate and grow the business, not just maintain it.
G. OK, I’m Warming Up to Cloud Computing and SaaS. What Do I Need to Look For?
First, take a look inside your organization and ask yourself these questions:
1.) Are your current systems very much out of date as compared to the current state of technology?
2.) Are your customers asking for information, order handling, invoicing, etc. that your current systems can’t handle? 3.) Do you lack sufficient resources to build and monitor a technology infrastructure?
4.) Are the hardware and software licensing costs too much to continue to pay, especially every time there is an upgrade to the newest version?
5.) Does your company have the human resources to configure, monitor, manage, upgrade, and repair/replace your hardware and software?
6.) Do you have access to the special expertise you need to take full advantage of your systems?
Depending upon your answers, you’ll get a good picture of where your business is with respect to your current technology, while also seeing areas where your business may be challenged. Be honest with yourself - if you answer the questions ‘softly’, you’ll only hurt your business future. Second, evaluate these specific areas within your business and technology:
1.) How fast and inexpensively can your business recover from any man-made or natural disaster that may occur?
2.) What processes, software, and monitors do you have in place to protect your critical company information from internal theft, external threat, or simple hardware/software failure? 3.) How easy can your existing systems grow or shrink with your business? Or, add new functionality to accommodate a change in your business?
4.) How much productivity do you loose, and what does it cost, when an employee can’t get an answer to an important technology question or if their system fails?
5.) How much does it cost your business if you can’t process orders, create invoices, pay bills and payroll, or meet a specific customer requirement because your current systems are holding you back or are unable to meet the requirement?
Third, answer these additional questions:
1.) Size of your organization and number of employees
2.) Complexity of your business
3.) Stability of your business model and processes
4.) Business growth levels and goals
5.) Need for flexibility in underlying
technology systems to accommodate new requirements
6.) The type and amount of integration you require for your business (with other partners, employees, communication, and applications)
7.) Your need or want to control your
systems and information, in-house
8.) Sensitivity to initial capital outlays and ongoing operational costs
As before, how you answer these will start to shape a picture of whether you’re a great candidate for Cloud Computing and SaaS.
Lastly, take a look at the costs of technology within your company and compare them to what you get with a Cloud Computing and SaaS solution. Make sure you take into account all the details, at every turn. You may be surprised to find out how expensive technology is for your business and how much less time and money you can spend on technology - reaping far superior benefits - through the adoption and use of Cloud Computing and SaaS. For more information on our solutions, visit www. smbsuite.com.