Software as a Service: Lowering the Entry Costs Easing the Investment Into Critical Technology

Have you heeded the warnings from industry experts and adopted critical technologies such as Web-to-print, MIS, and workflow automation? If not, what is stopping you? If the financial burden of a traditional implementation is the issue, the SaaS model can take much of the pain out of the equation.

Software as a service products, whether cloud-based or self-hosted, can provide a great solution for those printing firms that want to take control of their future and embrace critical technologies such as Web-to-print, MIS, workflow, and computing/IT expertise, or that need to update their existing systems for more scalability and improved functionality.

Smaller upfront investments, enhanced customer support, more frequent software updates, and assistance with customizations through affordable professional services are the hallmark of SaaS solutions, and ease the transition into these new applications.

Typically, cloud-based SaaS solutions can provide many benefits:

Faster implementation times. It can be faster to get systems up and running than with traditional licensed software, so businesses can immediately begin taking advantage of productivity enhancements and other cost savings.

Lower implementation costs. In a cloud-based SaaS environment, there are no hardware costs, lower software costs, and smaller upfront investments.

Reduced need for specialized IT staff. There is a lessened requirement for IT staff and database setup can be offloaded to the software provider.

Easier to absorb costs of operation into operating budgets or gain management approval for the spend. By definition, the SaaS model requires no capital expenditure, unless the user chooses to deploy an on-site hosted model, in which case servers are required.

Lower ongoing costs. In an SaaS model, expenses such as support costs, maintenance fees, and installation of patches or upgrades are included in the monthly fee. Ongoing costs are thus more predictable and affordable than in a licensed software model.

Faster ROI. Lower overall cost translates to faster ROI, increasingly important in today’s difficult market.

Increased visibility and access. With a browser-based interface, SaaS solutions are easy to access regardless of user location, and provide cross-platform (Mac/PC) availability. Real-time data to make important business and/or production decisions is literally available at the click of a mouse.

Flexibility/Scalability. With an SaaS solution, it is easy to remove modules that are not needed, add new modules, and to scale with business growth. Additional users can be added with ease, as required, without the need to install multiple instances of software on different machines throughout the organization. And while scaling up is a valuable benefit of a SaaS solution, so is the ability to rapidly scale down should the need arise.

Risk aversion. It is easier to change or cancel an SaaS solution than to get out of a six-figure investment for licensed software if the solution is not meeting expectations or business needs.

In today’s highly competitive marketplace, very few printing firms will be able to continue with business as usual. Adding critical technologies such as MIS, workflow, and Web-to-print gives your firm a better chance of surviving and thriving. Failing to add them will increase the odds that your business won’t be around in three to five years, and the SaaS options out there, such as the Web-to-print and workflow automation solution PressWise from Datatech Smartsoft (Booth 653), make it easier than ever for you to take that vital step.

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