We live in a world that is more connected than ever before.
India is home to 500+ million internet users only second to China.
By 2021 you will have 635.8 million internet users.
Smartphone penetration is 36% today, and with 220 million smartphones, India is the second largest smartphone market in the world.
323 million people access the internet through mobile.
India is among top countries in the world that have introduced 4G connectivity. When compared to 3G, 4G offers greater bandwidth at a lower latency, with downloads quoted in the vicinity of 45Mbps. However, receiving those speeds is entirely reliant on network connectivity and congestion, which was a major issue during the 3G roll-out.
We are more dependable on technology than ever before
[We are a technology animal]
With government thrust on “Make in India” and “Digital India” initiatives, the future looks more and more connected and digitized.
Internet contributes 4% to the Indian GDP which is one of the highest among peer industries.
Survival of the fittest
These statistics reflect the wind of change blowing across the nation.
India is on the cusp of a new revolution that is trespassing the entire subcontinent terrain.
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited, a Fortune Global 500 company in India, recently said that India could be a $5 trillion economy by 2024 and the major contributors could be energy and “TECHNOLOGY”.
The business environment is also experiencing a paradigm shift from an informal to a formal form with the introduction of GST (Goods & Service Tax) and Demonetization.
There has been more than 1.2 million new registration under the new GST with 30th July 2017 itself.
With radical transformation and shifting of the economy towards a more formal state, Darwin’s theory of “survival of the fittest” seems more relevant today than ever before.
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises like yours need to adapt to the changing environment and that too fast.
Agility will help you to bring the right change, at the right time to ensure you grow and succeed in the changing environment.
Technology is one of the leading drivers that can help you compete on equal footing with your more established counterparts.
Sure you have already adopted technology in a discrete manner like emails, WhatsApp, standalone application, Facebook etc. but you cannot agree more that there is a lack of cohesiveness when it comes to implementing technology across the organization.
Although some level of technology has been prevalent, these do not provide the kind of ease of operation and flexibility that is expected.
Also, Small and Medium Enterprises overall are plagued with limitations such as
- lack of trained manpower,
- Limited budget and
- Multi-tasking owners that make it difficult for you to implement enterprise solution.
Multi-Device SaaS application can be an answer to many of the problems faced by you.
Multi-Device SaaS application architecture is so designed that it helps you to migrate with minimum risk and with the limited outlay of money.
Features like a free trial, pay as you go, self on-boarding, gamification, referral schemes makes the solution an attractive proposition providing flexibility of execution and freedom of accessibility.
What is a multi-device SaaS application?
You all know about SaaS – Software as a Service.
Multi-device helps you operate a SaaS application from anywhere, at any time, and on any device like the tablet, mobile, laptop or desktop with internet or without it.
There are some myths against adoption of SaaS application:
Internet connectivity is not good for operating cloud application.
Data resides on the cloud and there is no control or security.
Myth#1: Internet Connectivity is a Must
Internet connectivity has improved but there is a long way ahead.
As per Wikipedia, according to the Akamai Q1 2017 State of the Internet Report, the average internet connection speed in India is 6.5 Mbit/s and the average peak connection speed is 41.4 Mbit/s.
Globally, India was ranked 89th out of 149 countries/regions by average internet connection speed and 97th by average peak connection speed. Read more at Wikipedia.
But things are improving fast, for instance, India is ranked 15th among countries with high 4G-LTE penetration with 82% penetration. Full list here.
SaaS solution providers have tried to address this issue by developing a hybrid solution that works both offline and online.
Transactions can be executed offline when there is no internet, data syncs to the central database once the connectivity is up in real-time.
In fact with continuous connectivity there will be no difference whether one works on desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile – ANYTIME, ANYWHERE, ANY DEVICE
Remote execution, centralized reporting, third-party plugins, audit trail, and return filing becomes just a click away in such a connected environment.
So the misconception that SaaS applications work only with the internet connection is not true.
With the offline application residing on your desktop, your data is also available locally for your convenience.
Operations can be executed offline while data can be synced as soon as the internet connection is activated.
Myth#2 : No Data Security on Cloud
The strongest resistance to SaaS adoption is that data resides on the cloud, and there is no control or security
Let me share a secret with you – “you are already on cloud 🙂 !”
Today most of us use email or WhatsApp to communicate.
You regularly share critical information pertaining to company’s future strategies, critical analytic with people without even thinking for a moment that all data is going to reside on a remote cloud location and not on your local disk.
Information shared on WhatsApp, Social Media, E-Commerce Sites are all located on a remote data center.
Brian David Johnson, the futurist at Intel, is responsible for creating models that predict how people will interact with technology in the next 10 to 15 years.
He describes four stages to show the paradoxical relationship between fear and technology.
Fear – “It will kill us all!”
The personal struggle to make sense of the new technology – “It will steal my daughter!”
Denial of its usefulness – “I’ll never use it!”
Acceptance – “What are you going on about?”
The pattern applies to many situations, including the Internet, computers, smartphones, wearable and the Cloud.
When it comes to cloud computing, businesses and IT professionals alike remain especially wary.
[Excerpt from 4 reasons why the cloud is more secure than legacy systems you can read the full article here.]
In the mid-80s when computers were being introduced in India there was lots of resistance and fear over job losses.
Today India is a leading force in IT well acknowledged across the world and provides job to millions of people.
In the contemporary world economy, India is the second-largest exporter of IT.
Exports dominate the Indian IT industry and constitute about 77% of the industry’s total revenue. Click to know more
It directly employs about 2.8 million people and indirectly employs 8.9 million, making it a dominant player in the global outsourcing sector. Click to know more
These are four of the reasons in short that defines why the cloud is more secure than on-premises system:
1. Strong Perimeters and Surveillance
2. Controlled Access to data on the cloud
3. Cyber Security Expertise is of the highest level as CSPs (Cloud Service
Providers) deploy the best IT talent to manage their resources
4. Thorough Auditing – Most CSPs undergoes a yearly thorough audit to
plug gaps in their security system
Such vigilance and security apparatus is difficult to create for an on-premises system due to many financial and nonfinancial factors.
Benefits of SaaS Application
There are many benefits which we can enjoy with a multi-device SaaS application.
Let’s delve into few key ones here. You can also research and find many more yourself.
#1 Benefit – Real-time availability of information
Decision making can be fast, you need not depend on the guy who will collect data from various sources and create a report in excel the next day or maybe in a few days depending on report complexity.
Today’s most predominant technology is client-server or a standalone application.
You get access to the information only when the application server or the computer with the software is switched on.
In case they are switched off there is no other source from where you can get any information.
Another way could be from the email where the data was shared earlier or calling a colleague who may have made a copy and kept with him locally.
But today’s business environment demands real-time information.
According to an Accenture 2013 Research Study, Timeliness of data available for decision making ranks 1st among 12 different analytical challenges that managers face today.
You need information on your fingertips –
- While negotiating with your customers
- Purchasing from vendors
- Finalizing the merchandise assortment
- Recruiting employee
- Clearing your payable
And many more situations.
It really helps if you carry everything on your small device that pops out all the information you need whenever required.
“I call it the democratization of data.”
#2 Benefit- Automated hassle-free business operation
Today most organizations are automated, but that does not signify that operations are conducted hassle free.
You may have operations in multiple locations which is not completely integrated.
Your team may be traveling most of the time, and it also needs to conduct transactions like price change, order booking, payment finalization, discount approval etc.
You may be traveling and executing certain business transactions yourself or viewing the critical report.
The above environment is common among small and medium enterprises with employees multi-tasking, taking different responsibilities at a given time.
Present available tools and application can definitely automate the above situation.
But it will require a huge investment of money, resources, effort and time to get things in place which may not be feasible for a small scale enterprise.
A multi-device SaaS application can help you in such a situation, without the need to invest heavily into IT infrastructure.
It reduces the cost and complexity of technology deployment.
#3 Benefit – Reduce total cost of ownership
Present automation tools are primarily built on the client-server architecture.
They require not only high investment in software but also in costly hardware, servers, accessories, LAN setup, space, maintenance to run business operations.
It may not be known to many but business software cost is only 30% of the overall cost of an IT infrastructure.
Rest 70% is the cost of space and hardware, servers, internet, telecom accessories, electrical fittings, UPS, security solution, backup solutions etc.
Add to that the cost of maintenance of the entire infrastructure.
It is called TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP.
With the proliferation of mobile, penetration of 4G technology and the “bring your own device” (BYOD) movement, the Small enterprise is provided with an opportunity to reduce the cost of hardware and services.
Multi-device SaaS application fits the bill to perfection.
For a small and medium enterprise where cost could be a major impediment to adopting the technology, multi-device cloud application comes with all the whistles and bells like:
No upfront cost – most such applications are subscription based with a pay-as-you-go model
No IT infrastructure – since the entire solution is deployed on cloud and only on-demand data resides on the desktop you do not need local IT infrastructure.
No maintenance cost – additional cost of maintenance and services is absorbed in the subscription fee rather than a separate cost as in the case of an on-premise deployment.
Below I have shared a comparison of On-premises Vs Cloud deployment cost that we had worked out for one of our clients wanting to transit from on-premises to a cloud infrastructure.
[Click and drag to move]
The above example is the cost of cloud space alone, add to that the application cost and other charges and you can understand what I meant earlier.
Data security is far less when it comes to on-premise deployment as it can be directly accessed by people with login details.
Data loss due to human error, hard disk crash and theft is a much more realistic possibility in a local deployment as compared to the cloud.
There are many solutions in the market that meets the SaaS on multiple device benchmark today.
I will be organizing a webinar shortly to explain the benefits of SaaS application using a real-life example.
Please sign up for the updates so that I can inform you about it.
With technological advancement, we can enjoy the best of both the worlds.
We have to shed the fear of cloud and look at technology with an open mind and not through the tinted glasses of old dogmas and hearsay.
You are welcome to add more benefits that you feel cloud-based SaaS application can bring to the SMB sector.
Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org