If there is anything we learned from 2016, it is that software spending is down. Software providers´ revenue for on premise software licenses and maintenance was significantly down last year. Interestingly enough, the spending for SaaS software products grew by 20%.
In fact, Forrester research found that 19% of businesses have replaced almost all of their finance systems with SaaS and almost 30% have laid out plans to do the same in 2017 and 2018.
Reason for the Shift to SaaS
The expectations of internal and external stakeholders have changed over the last decade. Consequently, CFOs now struggle in addressing these demands. CFOs are under immense pressure from investors, the board, senior management, and even customers.
Internal stakeholders such as investors, board, and management continue to exert pressure in their areas of concern – revenue and compliance. Meanwhile, External stakeholders’ vis-à-vis customers demand disruptive products, simple price structure, reasonable agreement terms, and excellent customer experience.
The problem of CFOs lie in wanting to keep up with the demands of modern times by using old obsolete methods.
Today, many businesses growth are hampered by data collection, not enough time to do analysis, and limited reporting capabilities. In fact, most still struggle with forecasting accuracy, outcome predictability, and reliable insight into operations as well as revenue.
In this economic climate, real time access to business insights and the ability to respond quickly to market stressors are key to gaining a competitive advantage. These are the very reasons why companies are looking more into SaaS spending.
Innovation in Cloud-based Budgeting, Planning, and Reporting
One of the most important change in SaaS financial software is that providers´ have found a way to make budgeting, planning, and reporting software inexpensive. Unlike on premise software, customers do not need to invest 6-18 months implementation time, another 12-18 months’ time for new releases, and customers do not anymore need to be burdened by annual maintenance costs.
With a cloud-based budgeting, planning, and reporting software finance users gain complete control of the tool. There is now real freedom from IT dependency.
What makes a good SaaS software?
If you are reading this article as a CFO or finance personnel, it is perhaps because you are wanting to jump into the bandwagon to join thousands of companies who have shifted to SaaS solutions.
The first question in your mind must be – how do I know if this solution is good for me?
Many providers mushrooming in the market will claim more or less the same things. It is incumbent upon you to ensure that the solution is truly what it claims to be. To help you make that decision, there are 3 non-negotiable features that your chosen SaaS solution must possess.
- SaaS software´s ability to offer Budgeting, Planning, Reporting, and Consolidation in equal performance
It is rather pointless to have 4 different solutions to cover for budgeting, planning, reporting, and consolidation when it can be accomplished in one solution. The problem with most SaaS providers is that it tends to specialize only on one specific capability.
There are solutions that may be very good in reporting but it does not have the ability to allow you to budget, forecast, or consolidate. Not having a single platform that can offer all these capabilities in equal strength defeats 2 of the most important reasons for shifting to cloud-based solution – cost and systems integration.
Your chosen SaaS solution must offer real value to your business by offering an end to end solution to your finance needs.
- SaaS software´s ability to offer deep analytics as well as predictive analytics
The company that can predict what will happen always wins. Therefore, it is important that your chosen software has the ability to offer predictive analysis through trend recognition or behavior analysis. These insights can be very valuable in terms of decision-making.
Further, the ability to offer deep and investigative analysis is a non-negotiable feature as this gives the business critical insight into the current financial situation of the business.
- SaaS Software´s ability to offer robust internal and external reporting capability
Internal and external reporting capability is so important in the sense that it gives businesses clear and valuable historical perspective. Therefore, your chosen SaaS solution must offer unparalleled reporting capabilities.
These 3 non-negotiable features are just the beginning. To know more about what comprises a good cloud-based budgeting, planning, reporting, and consolidation software, visit www.performancecanvas.com or email email@example.com to talk to one of our finance consultants.
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