For as long as there have been big guys and small guys, the big guys have always beaten up the little guys. In terms of business it was never any different, until now. That’s not to say big businesses don’t still dominate their respective markets or that they can’t or won’t bring their vast resources to bear in crushing their opposition. But it means that the little guy finally got a helmet, and that helmet is called SaaS, or Software as a Service.
What is SaaS?
SaaS has been around for a while in a variety of forms, but today (and for our purposes) it’s about cheap and accessible software that’s housed online in the cloud, so that the user never needs to download the actual program onto their computer. The developer of the software doesn’t sell the software, but instead sells access to it on a pay-as-you-go type of system. Software updates are conducted by the developer of the software on the cloud, so the customer never needs to spend additional money updating the software.
What Does That Mean?
It means that small businesses now have access to the same kinds of tools that big businesses historically had to hire entire IT departments for. Very large companies might still require their IT crew in order to monitor their internal systems and deal with some of their other IT related issues, but a small business can happily eliminate the vast amount of time and money that would ordinarily be dedicated to IT related management.
What does SaaS IT Software do?
IT business management software types have a wide variety of uses that usually allow business owners to cherry pick those services that they feel they can use. Depending on the nature of the business some of these are inevitably more useful than others, so most of these types of software services are modular, meaning they will integrate with each other or work independently.
Project Management Software– provides a platform to organize project information, facilitates good communication, tracks due dates and budgets, and can monitor work being done. That means no vast email chains with lost attachments and lost information.
CRM software- allows users to track customer information, synchronizes sales, marketing, tech support, and customer service departments. This will make your support services a less frustrating experience for customers.
Scheduling- Allows customers to schedule appointments with you online, automatically populates your calendar, and automatically bills or invoices your customers. That means if you’re a service based business you can eliminate paperwork for yourself and your customers when they actually walk through your door, saving you lots of time and money in the process.
Vendor Management- Allows you to track project statuses and data from third party vendors so that you’ll see any problems as they happen instead of being subjected to a nasty surprise weeks or months down the line.
Image credits: Flickr