Software for the Sophomore Company
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
Josh Stailey discusses some viable options that expanding enterprises must choose when evaluating software solutions for their growing business.
Josh Stailey here from The Pursuit Group. I want to talk to businesses that are growing; the successful, growing businesses that have got past the micro business scale and you’re getting big enough that you’ve got more people and now you’ve got more issues to solve. And the classic way to do that is to start with an IT Department and start figuring out the software you need in order to serve more efficiently that growing staff and those customers.
And what I want to say to you is time out. Don’t do that right now because there’s something different you need to consider than going to the classic IT route with servers, and software you buy, and maintenance fees you pay, and all the other things that go on. And it’s called—well, there’s two words actually—one is called Cloud Computing, which is putting everything up there somewhere and not necessarily on a hard drive or a server drive inside your company.
And what it has spawned is a whole new industry called Software as a Service or SAAS. And SAAS is now everywhere that other software, classic software is. And it has interesting capabilities; that is, they’re at least as capable as most of what enterprises can buy and more capable than many of the small business version of classic server-based software. Second is because you rent it instead of buying it, you don’t have to worry about maintaining it, you don’t have to have an IT Department. And what’s interesting is it is miles cheaper than buying and installing the software from a disk from a proprietary supplier out there of any type. Now there’s plenty of these out there. We’re not talking about one narrow type of software.
Software as a Service has been the fastest growing slice of the software industry for the past several years and continues to grow. And the software you can get is huge. You can get project and team management software, all up in the Cloud in Software as a Service; accounting and bookkeeping software, ERP software to help manage your factory floor and your warehouse, CRM software to manage customer relationships, marketing automation software to help get new customers, file storage for all those massive files you can put up there somewhere in the Cloud. You can even do communications—email, voice mail, phone even—can all be done in the Cloud on your computer. And at prices that are unbelievably low compared to what most companies classically expect to buy and install software on their own services.
It’s something that virtually every small company needs to look into because the difference in choosing the courses has a very significant difference in the manpower it takes to manage all of that, and in particular the cost it takes to buy it or rent it. And those companies that use that Software as a Service capability will be considerably ahead both in cost and in time management of their competitors. So you need to look into it. One of the better places to find Software as a Service information is a new startup that’s called HeadStartup.com. That’s the word “Head”, the word “Startup”, no hyphens, no gaps in it—.com. It’s actually founded by another CEO news contributor by the name of David [Heuningot]. David has assembled hundreds of software packages, many of them Software as a Service, onto this site with reviews and technical information and comparisons and so forth on it. So this may be—if you’re not used to, or comfortable, or knowledgeable at all about Software as a Service—this may be a perfect place to start to see what it is out there in the areas you need to find.
Our friend and contributor Josh Stailey passed away unexpectedly on September 10, 2011. We have valued his expertise and willingness to share his insights with us. We discussed the appropriateness of sharing content he provided before his death with his business partners at The Pursuit Group and they agreed sharing his expertise was a fitting tribute to Josh.
Josh Stailey was a 40-year veteran of the marketing and sales wars, a journalism-trained professional who understood the role of information and technology in today’s business world. A consultant and writer, he was a founding partner of The Pursuit Group, which specializes in designing and implementing demand-generation systems for small- and medium-sized businesses. He has also consulted with Fortune 500 companies on customer experience management and content system design.
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