Must-Have for Financial PlanningIf you have noticed, there has been an underlying theme running through this series of blog posts, and that is one of choices. You can choose the questions you should be asking of your team and those you support, ones that are most relevant to you. You can choose what reports you want to spotlight, what business units to support and which business drivers are most relevant. Today we’ll address the technology options out there, so you can choose which makes the most sense for your organization and how it can be leveraged to support your goals.

#3 – Understand all of your technology options and how they support your goals

The two major options you have in considering technology solutions are Enterprise/On-Premise software or Software as a Service (SaaS)/Cloud Computing solutions. As most of us are familiar with Enterprise software giants such as Oracle, SAP, IBM, and Microsoft, we are going to take some time to shed some light on the lesser known group of SaaS technologies and the role they play.

SaaS technologies generally are focused on specific business processes or functions such as planning and budgeting or business intelligence and analytics. SaaS is effective in supporting data analysis, ad hoc scenarios and what-if planning.

Benefits of SaaS technology include:

    • Multi-tenant – SaaS offers a shared space for users to store data, but is flexible enough to allow for individual or corporate customization.
    • No hardware – There are no hardware requirements, data is securely accessed over the internet.
    • Lower implementation costs – Costs to use SaaS technologies are greatly reduced as there is no burden of hardware purchases and no infrastructure planning necessary.
    • Free Upgrades – Compared to Enterprise software, where upgrades are released between 1 – 3 years, SaaS technologies tend to release upgrades quarterly or more frequently. The costs of upgrades are built into the overall price, and no additional resources or corporate initiatives are needed to leverage upgrades.
    • Predictable cost structure – SaaS cost structures are predictable and generally flat lined, unless your organization determines the need for additional users or is in need of increased data access.
    • Scalable – With SaaS technology, scalability is built in with the SaaS provider constantly evolving the hardware and software platform to meet customer needs.

It may seem as though we are putting a hard sell on SaaS technology, we are not. Both SaaS and Enterprise software have a place in your organization, each meeting different needs. In our next post, we will address questions you should ask when considering SaaS or Enterprise, because again, getting back to the theme here, you have a choice.

Other Posts in this series:

The First Must-Have for Financial Planning

The Second Must-Have for Financial Planning

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