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Justifying Changes - Business case building for a move to SaaS

James Burt
Office of Finance Director – Oracle Australia & New Zealand

“A change is as good as a holiday.”

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

“Turn and face the strange, ch-ch-changes.”

I think it’s safe to say that while we all love a good quote, we are all mostly still afraid of change. 

Change in our lives, yes – but also very much in business. How much change? How will this affect me? My colleagues? Am I making the right decision? We’ve all been there, and a bit of context has always helped.

There are compelling reasons that should be driving all businesses to move their systems to SaaS (Software as a Service) that are not widely or fully understood.

The current pace of innovation is so fast that it can be difficult for a generation of business leaders - that grew up on floppy discs and Walkmans - and have operated stagnant on-premise systems their entire career, to appreciate the fundamental shift SaaS enables. 

Stagnant software (out of date the day it was installed) that can only be updated via complex transformations projects simply won’t be able to keep up with the pace of technology change that we are witnessing.  Only SaaS can deliver the new features on a regular basis (in some cases quarterly) that take full advantage of the latest developments these new technologies present such as AI, IoT and Blockchain.  

A future ready business running SaaS systems can outpace change by readily adopting these new features delivered at no additional cost; ultimately enabling the better customer experiences that drive growth.  

Beware Luddites another quote: “A business that can’t change internally as fast as its external environment quickly becomes irrelevant.  Those businesses that are early to embrace digital transformation through use of SaaS will be best placed to survive the decade ahead”.

Sure, there are tangible savings from less hardware and IT costs that alone could justify a move to SaaS.  Certainly, the cost saving from not having to endure the disruption and cost of an on-premise upgrade every 5-10 years is easy to relate.  However, if this is all you factor in you are really missing the point. The key benefit comes from owning a system that gets better and better over time, whilst allowing the business the flexibility it needs to stay relevant.  Although less tangible this is the real value of SaaS and it must be factored in.  If you don’t adopt SaaS the future cost of declining revenues could be the most important cashflow line in your business case.  This is the change to be really afraid of.

Please contact the author if you would like advice…

To help you evaluate the value of SaaS for your business, you can use our tool:

SaaS value estimator >

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