Taking a business from the familiar to the unknown always feels like a huge risk. A lot of businesses stick with the “better the devil you know” philosophy and continue to use inefficient tools long after they should have made a change. They fear the time, effort, and money that might be wasted on trying new tools. We’ll explain why digital transformation with SaaS tools changes the game. It is, in fact, now easier to experiment than it is to stay in place.
Why do SMEs fear digital transformation?
Most SMEs don’t avoid digital transformation just because they are against the concept of change. With many small businesses, the resistance to seriously considering digital transformation with SaaS tools is actually a result of their continued success. Things have worked for so long that it can be hard to acknowledge that tried and tested methods are no longer bringing the same returns as before and that it is time to consider something new.
Then, when these companies do start looking at technological solutions, they often encounter resistance from people like sales teams, as we discussed in more detail in a previous post. However, from an organizational point of view, the three main issues are:
- Cost: “Technology is expensive to build and implement with our existing processes”
- Vendor lock-in: “Once we commit to a solution, we will have to stick with it… even if it doesn’t work”
- Snowball effect on budgets: “Once we start digital transformation of one element of our business processes, we’ll have to change the whole company.”
These are all valid issues and all were true… until recently.
SaaS tools have totally changed the landscape and offer a free shot to businesses on a limited budget. All of the factors that used to be reasons not to try new technology are actually now the best arguments for innovation.
The cost of digital transformation with SaaS tools
Software-as-a-Service basically means working in a pay-as-you-go-and-only-for-what-you-use model. Most SaaS solutions ask businesses to pay only for the exact capacity or in tiers. That means that a small business will not pay the same as a larger company because the resources they consume will be different. The ability to resign at any time is also compelling for companies in uncertain times but the biggest bonus of SaaS solutions is that they usually come with a free trial period in which users can test the solution. This is where the game has changed.
Building bespoke software never allows businesses to get to a usable version without great expense. In fact, most of the cost in software development is up front; getting to the first useable version—the so-called MVP—eats up most of the budget. If you then find that it doesn’t fit the needs of the business as hoped, it has cost several thousand dollars to build a solution that brought nothing to the business. This is really the greatest fear of any company when they consider assigning budgets to innovation projects.
How SaaS solutions help avoid vendor lock-in
Vendor lock-in was a real problem for companies in the past and it still plays heavily on the mind of many business decision-makers. Surely we’ve all heard someone say, “It’s a terrible system but we have to use it for ten years because the company invested a lot of money in it”. Vendor lock-in is really just a euphemism for being stuck with bad technology because it cost good money.
Digital transformation with SaaS tools is all about experimentation and following your hunches. Because you can resign at any time, vendor lock-in becomes an obsolete concept. In fact, the SaaS tools market works on a “survival of the fittest” basis. Because companies can experiment and change tools so easily, only the best solutions stick around on the market. This is the way that we have built Meetsales; we believe entirely in what we have built and we let sales teams in businesses try our video meeting app for themselves. We then know that to make them stay with Meetsales, we have to keep the level of what we provide above anything else on the market.
Avoiding a snowball effect on budgets
Small businesses often worry that scratching the surface of digital transformation means changing all of their systems. In the past, this was perhaps true. Companies had terribly complex monolithic systems and every change to one area affected other parts of the business.
Building with microservices allows companies to now experiment in one area without needing to think of investing elsewhere. For example, Meetsales lets sales teams integrate the entire PIM system of the business into a video call but it is a plug-and-play solution. The actual code on the business side remains untouched.
This approach realistically means that small businesses are now on an even footing (or even at an advantage) with larger companies for the first time. They can implement the same solutions as companies with larger budgets and can even do so faster and get ahead.
Digital transformation with SaaS tools also doesn’t have a snowball effect on budgets as the next steps and new innovations can be taken as quickly or slowly as the business needs. Because SaaS solutions are generally independent of one another, you can choose the speed of change.
Speak to us about digital transformation with SaaS tools
At Meetsales, we let sales teams meet clients, present the entire sales catalog, and close deals online in face-to-face calls. It’s the only conversational commerce solution of its type. We’ve built it entirely in a SaaS model because we believe it is the present and future of business innovation. If you want to talk to us about supporting your sales teams with new, no-risk technology, contact us now.
Published October 8, 2020