This is the eighth post of the “Why You Should Run Your Business Online” series. If you have not yet read the previous posts, head back to the beginning to catch up.
Once you buy software, there is always a cost associated with the time and effort required to get that software up and running to a point where your business can benefit from its use.
Running your business online using SAAS in the cloud provides an advantage here as well.
Value Component 7: Setup and Learning Curve
Running your business online provides time savings because SAAS solutions typically offer both faster setup and learning times than offline alternatives.
Offline vs. Offline: Software Setup and Learning Processes
Let’s start by looking at what it takes to setup and learn offline software. You will need to:
- Purchase the software;
- Purchase the hardware on which to install the software;
- Setup and configure the hardware;
- Install the software;
- Setup and configure the software and;
- Learn to use the software.
Of course we’re taking for granted here that you already have a way to securely access your new solution from remote locations. If not, you will need to purchase and install a firewall and a virtual private network (VPN) (or hire someone to do it for you).
If you decide to skip that cost and not access your solution remotely, you will be stuck managing your business from your office. Not a very practical solution in our very mobile society.
Now, let’s see what it takes to setup and learn online software:
- Register on the site and (sometimes) pay a fee to use the software;
- Configure the software (if necessary);
- Learn the software.
Online software has only half as many steps, and step one is significantly shorter than steps 1-4 of the offline software process.
Plus, the only thing you need to access the application remotely is a connection to the Web. Nice, eh?
Shorten the Learning Curve
You’ll also find that SAAS solutions typically take less time to learn.
That’s because of a practice called, “usability” which is where SAAS vendors follow online standards (links, page layouts, etc.) with which you are already familiar if you’ve ever used a web browser.
Offline software vendors have no such constraints and thus the design and layout of their solutions can be totally unique to their software. This leads to a steeper learning curve which means it will take longer to learn to use their solution.
Join me next time for the 8th value component and more examples of the advantages of running your business online.