Sunday, January 29, 2023

How SaaS will improve your agility and drive your digital transformation

The events of the last two years have put a major strain on IT departments, with CTOs and their teams having to operate (sometimes remotely) complex software to manage issues like capacity management, performance tuning, patching, upgrading software and more. Added to the fact that organizations are struggling to hire and retain skilled IT staff, this has further fueled the difficulty of managing digital infrastructure–resulting in a loss of time, revenue, and potential lead generation opportunities.

As this year comes to a close, it’s never been more evident that valuable resources continue to be wasted on ineffective processes that jeopardize outcomes on many levels. We continue to see the increasing cost resulting from CTOs not having the autonomy to keep IT staff focused on key objectives including market differentiation and customer experience.

CSPs are still straddling a knowledge gap to make the connection between the benefits and outcomes of buying on-premises software or subscribing to the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. While SaaS was initially identified as an ideal solution for SMEs, in recent years larger organizations have become increasingly aware that SaaS is a viable solution that enables agility and drives digital transformation. The pandemic starkly demonstrated it has become all about speed, flexibility and most importantly, agility, a conclusion backed up by Gartner predicting that SaaS revenue will reach and $141 billion in 2022.

Existing IT systems and traditional delivery processes struggle to provide the required level of flexibility, especially when it comes to expanding into new markets and rapidly launching new solutions. An organization’s decision to not invest in a SaaS-based delivery model will continue to create operational complexity which in turn will only continue to stretch IT teams beyond capacity. This outcome is antithetical to the CTO’s overarching goals for the organization, thereby causing heightened urgency to launch new capabilities and the opportunity for innovation to stagnate the organization. This becomes a ripe opportunity for competitors who have already decided to get on board with SaaS.

It’s time for CTOs to consider the value that SaaS will bring to their business.

The gift that keeps on giving: what SaaS brings to an organization

Organizations are seeking agility and scalability, two of the premier drivers of SaaS adoption. This is why co-creating new B2B solutions (IoT, 5G) with an ecosystem of partners should now be at the top of every organizations’ priority list, especially CSPs, when our research revealed that 97% of enterprises believe that key players need to collaborate to provide them with better services. CSPs understand the benefits of ecosystems and believe they will play an influential role, placing high value on the results. But they are not building them fast enough for measurable results to show, and they’re not managing it with enough of the right partners. The time is now for CSPs to hasten the process and think bigger.

By adopting SaaS, organizations will get that all important ability to experiment, innovate and test new technologies and develop business models and services that lead to improving agility and efficiency, automating processes and bringing ecosystem partners together to co-create.

The right technology can act as a major barrier to realizing the continuous benefits of the ecosystem model. Specifically, the lack of flexible, dynamic platforms that help manage, orchestrate and monetize the complexity of innovating and launching joint offerings. These marketplaces must be SaaS-based and connect assets such as 5G, AI, edge, cloud, IoT, network slicing etc., with customer needs and partner capabilities.

Service Providers must deviate from just selling standard services and look to deliver outcome-based end-to-end solutions. They cannot afford to waste time on lengthy and costly IT projects but rather need to start leveraging ready-to-use solutions from the public cloud in an “as a service” delivery model. This will not only help them achieve business agility but also provide their customers with the experience, products and services they crave.

It’s imperative for CTOs to take action and roll out ecosystems, partnering with organizations that enterprises want to work with.