SaaS makes good business sense

Companies are fast realising the benefits of removing paper from business processes and many have already started automating their key processes. However, the cost and complexity of implementing software and hardware to achieve comprehensive automation can be prohibitive, making Software as a Service (SaaS) an attractive option. This is according to Strategix managing director Jaco Stoltz.

According to IT industry analyst Gartner, early concerns over security and general performance have faded as SaaS models have matured and been adopted by more organisations. Gartner has found that 90 percent of companies reported plans to increase use of SaaS in 2009, with 37 percent replacing on-premise software with SaaS to drive down Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

“Everyone wants to save money these days, and businesses are specifically looking to reduce capital expense budgets. At the same time, companies are facing the need to replace installed software that no longer provides the document processing functionality or flexibility they require, and they want to deploy solutions as quickly and easily as possible. And ultimately, those on the front lines would rather focus on improving processes instead of managing servers for faxing and emailing,” says Stoltz.

SaaS has become part of many organisations’ process improvement strategies for several key reasons. Companies need to adapt to the current economic conditions by doing more with less. While IT maintenance costs spiral out of control and bandwidth and connectivity becomes more affordable, SaaS solutions become the obvious choice.

Key attributes driving organisations to adopt SaaS solutions for document processing include:
· Quick deployment and immediate Return on Investment (ROI)
· Flexible ‘pay-as-you-go’ pricing
· No on-premise infrastructure
· Low implementation cost
· Low risk
· Little or no IT investment

Stoltz says with SaaS, companies can deploy solutions across the enterprise quickly and pay only for what they use. “This offers an extremely low-risk approach because it costs virtually nothing to implement a core component of the lean operations and green business initiatives that so many companies are focused on. Instead of installing and managing software to gain automation efficiencies, you simply access it via the Internet.”

As an alternative to the traditional approach of installing software on premise, SaaS makes the benefits of document process automation readily available. Essentially, all one needs is an Internet connection to deploy automated document processing across the entire enterprise. A SaaS approach offers the opportunity to shift ROI from the project level to the document level (capital versus operational expense) and achieve ROI immediately.

He says while SaaS offers proven financial benefits and operational advantages, the thought of handing off management of core business processes still makes some companies nervous. “Companies are well-advised to proceed with caution because SaaS outcomes are dependent upon the provider’s ability to safeguard network connections and information flow. Data privacy, access control, and business continuity are key considerations for any company in choosing a SaaS provider.”

The good news is that SaaS solution providers have worked hard to ensure protection of sensitive information and support for compliance with privacy regulations, and those efforts have paid off. Top-tier SaaS facilities combine physical and virtual infrastructure to secure enterprise information within and outside the walls of the organisation. Lingering apprehension about security is addressed by SaaS solutions specifically designed to safeguard document processing.
SaaS offers the ability to implement document process automation solutions rapidly and cost-effectively, without the need to build or expand an in-house network. Mature SaaS models can put the most powerful document processing technologies at an organisation’s disposal, so the enterprise can dynamically adapt to new business challenges and deploy solutions quickly.

With the right SaaS solution, users anywhere in an organisation can leverage the automation platform at any time to process customer orders, vendor invoices, customer invoices and purchase orders efficiently and consistently. This means geographically separate business units can all share in the benefits of visibility, tight controls, support for effective process management and operational cost reduction.

Furthermore, services can be customised easily so that each user only has access to the components they need. Minimal implementation cost brings the benefits of automated document processing to organisations of any size, this means small and medium businesses can gain process efficiencies. More importantly, managers can accelerate execution of document automation projects without the need for deep involvement of IT resources or large budget allowances for implementation cost.

Stoltz says with a SaaS solution, scanned documents or those sent via fax, email or web can enter into an automated workflow for approval upon receipt. “Orders and invoices can be dispatched to the appropriate business units where staff receives timely alerts that prompt them to sign-off on documents. Each order or invoice can be processed based on business rules matched to document attributes such as customer or supplier, amount, product, business unit, etc. Every step of the workflow process can be documented and all documents can be automatically archived and retrieved immediately for reference or auditing.”

For outgoing documents within accounts receivable and procurement, SaaS effectively eliminates the need for businesses to maintain a large enough supply of IT resources to handle the highest peaks in delivery volume, even though the average daily demand for capacity is much lower. Industry analysts consistently estimate that around 80 percent of IT infrastructure is idle at any specific time. SaaS solves the IT resource problem by supplying virtually unlimited capacity on demand, without the continual IT investment associated with maintaining document delivery infrastructure.


  1. Well by using different types of softwares in the companies and removing all the paper works really helps a business firm in lowering the cost.

  2. Nice article. The western world is fast taking to this new SaaS approach to software deployment. The rest of the world would also benefit for doing the same, especially since you can have access to the best services around the world with simply a net connection.

Comments are closed.