The Future of Business Applications is SaaS-based.

When organisations analyse their business application needs, there is a lot of almost-abstract talk about technology with buzzwords around productivity and efficiency thrown around.

The author of this page: Mike Lillis
Mike Lillis, Chief Commercial Officer Jan 07, 2022

Yet what so many forget to factor in is that it is really all about the people and how making them more successful will have such a great impact on your future growth.

In a moment, I will tell you about some Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, deployed here at Storm that are making a massive difference to our employees and ultimately business operations.

But first, I want to warn those tied to old-school on-prem technology about an issue that few organisations realise is happening; a growing shortage of legacy technology professionals as tech talent moves over to the cloud.

A consequence of the pandemic has been "The Great Resignation", an en masse career re-evaluation that has led to more and more legacy technology experts disappearing, as both existing and new software engineers focus on cloud technologies.

The result, rising employee costs as on-prem technology skills become more niche, further driving up the cost of ownership for on-prem systems.

Let's get back to business applications and why it is better for your organisation to move to a SaaS model.

With increased security and malware threats, doesn't it make way more sense to pass the management of this risk onto a multi-billion-dollar entity like Microsoft, which is updating their tech all the time, rather than take the cost into your own organisation?

With SaaS, you are also able to shift from a lumpy annual or upgrade cycle driven Capital Expenditure (CAPEX), shifting the payment cycle to a manageable and predictable Operating Expenses (OPEX) model (an approach we have found to be more palatable to CFO's). In addition, unlike legacy systems that require costly upgrades or maintenance, SaaS solutions remain evergreen, with continual upgrades delivered by the technology provider.

At Storm, we have seen first-hand the benefits of SaaS technologies, from operational to user experience enhancements.

To strengthen our internal HR systems, we have invested in OurTandem, a cloud-based people-driven tool that improves things such as objective/goal setting and internal feedback. Delivering the same instantaneous feedback, once covered by an in-person coffee, to a workforce that is learning to operate in a hybrid environment.

Where legacy on-premise technologies can be constrained by VPN's or localised access, Our Tandem is designed and developed for the mobile generation. Enabling staff and managers to connect on the devices that best suit their individual needs and preferences, regardless of physical location.

A further benefit of the solutions SaaS nature is we can quickly and easily flex the technology capabilities and licenses as our business grows.

As a CCO, we have built a bespoke CRM system on Microsoft Dynamics 365, to address the age-old questions around “how busy are our salespeople”. This has provided us with the data required to make strategic decisions around how the sales team is structured and indeed the type of staff we need, e.g., the creation of a renewals function with a more administrative skillset.

 The real-time nature of the data provided means we are better positioned to analyse Sales performance, which is good for both team and Storm. Where historically we would have to invest resources into ensuring our CRM data was protected, we are now confident that the system offers the very latest protection and feature functionality, thanks to regular system updates as part of the SaaS agreement with Microsoft.

Our D365 platform also provides data for finance for invoicing, operations for resource scheduling, marketing for lead generation and other areas of the company thanks to native integration with the D365 eco-system and improved third party API’s.

Moving to SaaS solutions in the cloud has been beneficial for Storm, but I think just as importantly, has been great for all of us who work here as no one enjoys inefficiency and slow bureaucratic processes.

At Storm, we are ready to help you move to the technology that is right for your organisation and your employees.

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