Why Has SaaS Become Popular in Business and What Does it Mean For Enterprise Labeling?
by Joe Longo, on December 19, 2019
The mainstream adoption of cloud-based software has delivered new functionality and possibilities in the enterprise space, blurring the lines between consumer and professional technology. The concept behind software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployments is simple: Users access a centralized instance of a program instead of running it on local hardware.
The repercussions of this straightforward new paradigm can be significant. For organizations globalizing their operations and closely linking their various offices to one another, SaaS technology is an important piece of connective tissue. Businesses that have spread individual processes, such as product design or supply chain management, between multiple locations can work more closely than ever before when their tools are in the cloud.
"Companies can drastically improver the effectiveness of essential processes such as enterprise labeling."
The key to extracting productivity from this model is twofold. Businesses have to ensure their workflows and technologies are complementary, and they must also select the right IT solutions for their purposes. By focusing on these priorities, companies can drastically improve the effectiveness of essential processes such as Enterprise Labeling, removing potential productivity bottlenecks and making global operations work for them.
Charting the Rise of Enterprise SaaS
As placing software in the cloud first emerged as a popular hosting model for enterprise applications, there was some concern about its potential. Companies that were used to running all their software on-premises had to get used to the implications of accessing web-based software. In some highly regulated cases, SaaS deployments simply aren't an option. In many other cases, however, business technology departments have shed their initial cynicism and made SaaS the go-to model.
TechTarget explained that SaaS, "arguably the purest form of the cloud," is drawing investment from all corners of the enterprise world. Indeed, the news provider cited Gartner data that revealed 45% of total application spending will go to SaaS tools by 2021. Considering that the cloud is a relatively new tech paradigm, it's striking to see nearly half of funds go to these solutions.
Companies would not have shifted so decisively to the cloud without clear business cases for the move. A recent eWeek report indicated where some of this value comes from. Notably, the cloud allows organizations to spend based on their actual usage of an application. Businesses used to making large upfront payments for software licenses can now right-size their spending and make periodic payments as an operating expense instead of a capital expense.
In addition to the ability to control costs, SaaS applications give Chief Information Officers more visibility into their application usage statistics than they previously had. This plays into right-sizing app spending, as it would be hard for these leaders to determine what the appropriate amount to spend on each tool without accurate data.
SaaS isn't the only kind of cloud deployment. Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) models are also present in the market but, as Synergy Research indicated, SaaS is a significantly larger section of the market. The revelation that companies are more likely to use SaaS than the more comprehensive PaaS and IaaS shows that they are buying applications one at a time, tackling specific problems with targeted purchasing.
Companies that operate around the world can bring their team members together through SaaS applications, having everyone log into the same piece of software from their web browsers. The collaboration options that come along with this change of model can prove especially helpful in processes such as enterprise labeling, where many stakeholders must sign off on changes and a mistake could lead to costly bottlenecks in production - or even time-consuming recalls.
SaaS Use Example: Improving Enterprise Labeling
Implementing new SaaS-based enterprise labeling software can represent a major positive change for supply chains. Organizations that already have multiple office locations - potentially hundreds around the world - will find cloud-based solutions can connect their whole teams, as will companies that are scaling up to this size. Such a large company could potentially operate thousands of label printers at manufacturing and shipping facilities, potentially none located at the same facilities that house the teams working on barcode label designs. A SaaS-based solution will link all these disparate parties.
"Users simply log onto the centralized instance of the application and get to work."
Not only can these cloud-based Enterprise Labeling software reach a large scale, installing and updating it is far easier than it would be if organizations opted for on-premises solutions. The key to cloud software's ease of use is that there is essentially no installation. Users simply log onto the centralized instance of the application and get to work. Furthermore, with all updates and maintenance handled on the software provider's side, in-house IT teams are free to perform value-adding work in the office rather than looking after the labeling technology.
Automated workflows that guide essential personnel through the enterprise label design process are another key feature of modern platforms. Business users with the right permissions log into the solution via their web browsers and perform their assigned tasks. The changes made or approvals granted by each party are clearly visible, so there is no ambiguity about the readiness of the labels for printing and application to products.
These SaaS-based Enterprise Labeling Solutions, at their best, connect seamlessly with other technology tools such as enterprise resource planning systems. Companies often use ERP as a single source of truth, with essential data being stored in these repositories in its most updated and accurate form. Enterprise Labeling tools that connect directly to information systems can both use that accurate data and provide updates to it, ensuring that the organization does not suffer from confusion due to conflicting or duplicated data.
With access to SaaS-based labeling applications used across an entire organization, supervisors can gain a helpful view of activity, performing analytics on the real-time data to understand labeling performance. When processes slow down at a particular location, the software will reveal that fact and allow leaders to take corrective action.
Companies have embraced SaaS for their most critical processes. Considering the fact that enterprise labeling represents a bridge between the physical supply chain and digital data, it falls into this category. Purchasing the best possible SaaS-based labeling software is a clear path to greater effectiveness, no matter how many global facilities a business operates - contact a Loftware representative to learn how to make this happen.