There has been a rapid growth in adoption of cloud technology over the past few years. Early adopters moved to cloud for CRM and Collaboration, and of late there has been a huge surge in demand for HR on cloud.
But one of the things that holds back adoption is the myth that a SaaS product is a standard product and won’t be able to map their organization’s unique practices and processes. While this may be true to a certain extent, once we deep dive, we will understand the nuances.
“Standard” in SaaS doesn’t mean one size fits all. A good SaaS application can be compared to Lego Blocks. With a set of 10 Lego blocks, you can create hundreds of shapes and structures. Just like Lego, in a SaaS product, there are different kinds of building blocks like — Forms, Roles, Groups, Workflows, Rules, Templates, etc. These building blocks can be combined in multiple ways using configuration parameters to map a large number of Org structures and processes.
Also, just like a set of Lego blocks, you cannot build everything. There is a limit to the number of permutations and combinations you can do. This limit is the system boundary. The role of a Product Design team is thus very crucial, because they have to understand the best practices across different industries and define the system boundaries.
A good SaaS Implementation team understands the building blocks, the different structures that can be built out of this set of blocks and the boundaries. By understanding the industry / business of the customer, they are able to suggest the structure that best fits them and thus are able to “Simplify their Work Life”.
Thus, SaaS does mean standardization in a ring-fenced way, but there is lot of flexibility that it provides through various configuration options available. All you need is a sharp “Architect” who can understand your needs and the building blocks well and create the best available product ready for use.
Hope this helps next time when you are asked to explain SaaS and Standardization. Here’s to a Simplified Work-Life on demand!