By 2020, Gartner predicts that 80 percent of historical vendors and new entrants will offer subscription-based business models.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) then is set to become a staple in the world of business and this might prove challenging for some businesses as Ryan Barlow (pictured above), chief information officer at e4 explains.

“According to Gartner, addressing SaaS change management is ranked among the top five SaaS challenges for technical professionals,” Barlow explains.

“This is easy to believe when you consider the unique nature of SaaS and the resulting challenges that emanate when implementing. There is a clear need for new change management strategies for SaaS to be successfully implemented,” the CIO adds.

e4 recently completed its own migration to Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 and its learned a great deal according to Barlow.

For one, trust must be addressed at the outset of adoption. Barlow explains that moving confidential company information off-site into a cloud environment should not be seen as exposing the company.

“We need to gain a better understanding of the benefits this approach brings as opposed to simply focusing on the perceived risks. IDC predicts that 60% of cloud spend by 2020 will go to SaaS deployments. The trend is there and if businesses want to reach their full potential and compete effectively, transitioning to SaaS is essential,” says Barlow.

The CIO goes on to explain that while SaaS might seem costly, it brings with it accessibility, versatility and improved reliability. In addition, IT professionals are no longer tied to the downsides of traditional software deployments including keeping track of licensing and the like.

SaaS also allows for a “pay as you go” approach as well as reduced risk according to Barlow.

“The latter is ironic. Once the initial distrust is managed, SaaS is seen as more stable and reliable and less risky,” says Barlow referencing his earlier statement about overcoming the fears associated with SaaS.

As with most areas of digital transformation, implementing SaaS requires effective planning and change management.

“Like with any implementation, research is essential, ensure you know what your business requires and who would be best suited to deliver the solution. A phased approach is also advisable before launching company-wide,” concludes Barlow.

[Image – e4]