The role of SaaS platforms in closing the digital gap - The EE

The role of SaaS platforms in closing the digital gap

Hubilo CEO and founder, Vaibhav Jain explores how enterprises are increasingly able to adapt their business models with the assistance of SaaS platforms.

While it’s hard to keep up with the volume of business buzzwords in the modern world, one that looks set to stay is digital transformation, which is optimising the way in which enterprises meet customer expectations and helps them remain competitive in a growing market.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led businesses to fast-track their digital transformation journeys, with innovations helping organisations to change the way they operate under challenges such as social distancing measures.

In particular, difficult obstacles faced organisations in the events industry due to the pandemic, which shone a light on the importance of utilising SaaS platforms to host internal and external events online to replace those that would have happened in-person.

SaaS businesses have been built from the requirement for digital transformation, while SaaS products are also enabling these advances in enterprises that have previously been unable to finance proprietary technology internally. Undoubtedly, this growing technology is helping to close the digital gap.

The current state of the digital divide

SaaS has gained traction as more businesses shift from on-premise deployments to the cloud. Traditionally, enterprises used solutions deployed on their premises which required specialists who could handle that particular software. This was incredibly costly and is one reason for the digital divide we see today.

Businesses are increasingly split across the digital divide, with one side consisting of those who have seemingly endless resources in terms of finance and workforce talent to build their own platforms and technologies where business operations can be run from.

On the other side of the divide are the businesses that recognise the need to digitise but lack access to the relevant skills, resources and vast sums of money required to enable digitisation. Having a digital advantage means those enterprises can foster successful and sustainable business models while the others fall behind. Fortunately for those disadvantaged companies, enterprise SaaS can make all the difference.

How to close the digital gap

From Netflix to Spotify, most of us have used a SaaS product in some capacity. We pay a subscription and have access to a world-class platform that adds value to our lives. Enterprise SaaS products work in pretty much the same way and the value that they add includes increasing competitiveness and building resilience.

The best part is that most SaaS platforms are set up for rapid integration meaning enterprises can start getting value from them instantly. It’s now possible for organisations to easily replace legacy systems with enterprise SaaS products. This includes CRM platforms to engage with and measure interactions with customers to instant messaging platforms to maintain contact with remote colleagues, while utilising a virtual and hybrid events platform to engage with global markets and win new leads.

The richness of the SaaS market is in the fact that there are numerous providers offering similar tools, allowing enterprises to trial new tools without financial obligations. But with so many platforms to choose from, how can an enterprise recognise the right SaaS provider?

Choosing a SaaS provider

Evaluation of SaaS providers should include analysing whether the solutions provided can be easily integrated with other SaaS platforms, which enables all systems to talk to each other. The boom in SaaS platforms has made integration between different platforms easier in comparison to the complexities experienced in the early days of SaaS.

A thorough business continuity plan is also crucial in an effective SaaS provider as the platform will store key business data. From a security perspective they should also have the right certifications and compliances in place such as ISO standards and GDPR so that you have the peace of mind your data is properly managed and protected.

ROI is also a key consideration for enterprises, particularly where budgets are tight. A good SaaS provider will offer enterprises their platform on a pay-as-you-go or usage-based model meaning there is no large investment required at the outset and enterprises can pay a fair and manageable amount that is level with the value they’re getting from the platform. Many platforms also offer additional features available at an extra cost which enterprises can gradually begin to pay for as they scale up.

Removing transformation roadblocks

Vaibhav Jain

Among the most common roadblocks to digital transformation is the financial outlay and integration complexities involved, but increasingly it’s the case that organisations are traversing these obstacles with the help of SaaS solutions. As integrations between platforms increase and mass cloud migration continues, it’s becoming possible to expand or even build an entire business through SaaS platforms.

As economic uncertainty continues with unpredictable challenges lying in wait, the need for businesses to develop their digital transformation strategy is more important than ever. Enterprises can benefit from flexibility, resilience and scalability by adopting SaaS solutions as a key component in their business models moving forward.

The author is Vaibhav Jain, CEO and founder, Hubilo.

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