The rise of Software as a Service (SaaS) has changed the way businesses can evolve by allowing them to access new functionality at higher speed and lower cost. SaaS is a cloud-based software model, meaning users access applications online, making it far easier to adopt and scale than traditional software deployments. 

Whilst SaaS is no longer a new concept, many still underestimate how quick and easy onboarding can be, which can result in a misguided resistance to change. This is inadvertently costing firms time as they persist with inefficient workflows and miss opportunities – simply due to an outdated notion that adopting new software is always painful. That certainly need not be the case.  

One of the significant advantages of SaaS is that it is far easier to deploy and maintain than traditional software. With traditional software models, businesses must purchase, install, and configure their own instance of the software. This often requires a level of technical expertise that many fund managers may not have. This frequently results in implementation fees that exceed the annual licence fee. Entire ecosystems form around the complexity of these traditional software solutions, with the solution names often appearing in job titles as expertise is considered its own discipline. 

Another significant advantage is speed. With SaaS, the software is hosted in the cloud and can be accessed through a web browser, eliminating the need for installation. Configuration tends to be lightweight, and is typically handled by a customer success manager (CSM). Additionally, software updates and maintenance are managed by the SaaS provider, freeing businesses from the associated burden, and giving them access to new features and functionality as soon as they become available. 

Here are a few tips when considering how easy or difficult a new solution might be to adopt:

  • What is the delivery model? Is it SaaS?
  • If you look on LinkedIn, are there professionals dedicated to the solution but not employed by the solution provider? The bigger this ecosystem, the more complex the implementation. 
  • What is the implementation fee?
  • What is the implementation roadmap? How many meetings will there be, and how much of your time will be required?
  • Will you be paying a full licence fee throughout the implementation?

The main thing firms should do is let go of the outdated notion that adopting new software is painful. Good SaaS solutions are off-the-shelf and ready to roll. For focused solutions, that are made to do a certain job for a certain organisation type, this should then result in very short implementation periods, and you should see returns on your investment very quickly.