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Everything-as-a-Service: Why Custom Workflows Are the Future for Enterprise Companies

Laurence Tindall

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We are in the age of innovation where almost every single function within a company can be improved, optimized, and provided as a scalable service.

The reason is because, as a business, you don’t build your own payment processing system—you leverage PayPal or Stripe or one of the other hundreds of payment processing platforms out there. You don’t build your own accounting software—you use QuickBooks. You don’t track expenses by hand—you use Digits. 

Some of the most common SaaS applications are: 

– Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

– HR

– Finance

– Procurement

– Employee Collaboration

– Customer Service

– Ecommerce

The size of your company, as well as the options in the market, will determine how you choose to manage various workflows within the business. If you’re an enterprise company looking for an accounts payable solution, you may want a trusted system that has been in the market for many years. For other less common workflows, such as fleet management, or areas of the business that don’t typically interact with software, then you’re going to want to work with a company like Cherwell to build your own apps and modules that cater to your specific needs as a business.

There are two big reasons why a company would want to invest in their own enterprise software applications, regardless of what department you’re in:

1. Enterprise tools can be expensive, and overlapping features inflate costs.

Software licenses for companies aren’t cheap.

Most companies end up trying to find different applications for each individual department—many of which have overlapping or unnecessary features. As a result, the company may end up paying for five, 10, even 20 different enterprise software licenses, costing the business hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

When you use one centralized system to build individual, custom workflows instead, not only are you able to reduce overlap and give departments exactly what they need out of their software, but you are also able to dramatically reduce your enterprise software costs. 

2. Consolidation leads to efficiencies within each department.

Second, when you reduce the number of different third-party applications being used within a business, you are better able to capture and share relevant data.

For example, if you have three different service management tools being used across a wide variety of departments, it becomes very difficult for employees and leaders to have access to the exact same information. As soon as all that data is consolidated into one place, suddenly the business has a single source of truth. 

What “Everything-as-a-Service” will look like in the future.

The CRM industry is a perfect example.

Before CRM, and prior to tools like Salesforce and Hubspot that have become mainstream business tools, companies needed to build these sorts of directories for themselves internally. Today? The CRM industry is set to reach more than $80 billion in revenues by 2025. Furthermore, in 2008, only 12 percent of businesses used cloud-based CRM tools (many were still running these directories locally). Today, more than 87 percent of businesses use a cloud-based CRM.

This is a great example of how one department, and even one specific function within a business, became “Software-as-a-Service” and grew into a multi-billion-dollar industry.

And as time goes on, the same will happen with every other business function—maybe not to the same level or market cap, but certainly in the same capacity.

Take legal tasks within a company, for example. Instead of sending an email and then waiting to hear back—”Where are we at? Did they receive it? What’s the status?”—you can easily digitize that workflow and have different legal requests in your system. If you need an NDA signed, or an NDA requested for a customer, you should be able to place a request in your enterprise service management (ESM) tool that streamlines the process and allows multiple departments to all be on the same page. You can also do this for copyright requests, overdue invoices, etc. 

With an enterprise service management system, you can essentially digitize an entire legal department’s workflow.

The applications for these types of streamlined efficiencies within enterprise companies are endless. And as more and more businesses move to the cloud, and more specifically, move their workforces remote, these types of custom solutions will only become more common.

Passionate Product Manager at Cherwell with experience in agile software development, with solid experience managing and developing Software as a Service (SaaS) web applications.

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