Why has the whole cloud/SaaS thing gotten so important to companies recently? There are lots of opinions and lists of reasons out there; mine is just another one, although from an insider’s perspective.
I work for a cloud-based billing company, Aria Systems, and we do subscription and usage billing for other companies. Now I know that lots of developers have written or could write similar functionality and maintain it. A company could also buy a program “off the shelf” to solve their subscription billing issues, and many have. But if you write or buy your own app, you must also develop your own operational and support infrastructure. Not to mention that proprietary programming requires an extensive de-bugging protocol for both its creation and its upgrade cycle. In the end, you may have a system you control completely and can change as you wish, but will you want to devote the time, money and resources to do that?
Innovations will happen, but slowly, and sometimes rather painfully, as you figure things out for yourself. Every change you make has a ripple effect with your staff. The costs can end up too high for many of the changes you want to make so you may end up just living with what you have.
That is where the Cloud has turned things around completely. A steady stream of enhancements are regularly developed and rolled out without any extra expense for you beyond your normal subscription fees. Your support staff is provided training on new features without you needing to prepare documentation of your own. The Cloud software provider handles the development and de-bugging behind the scenes and rolls it out without any downtime for you.
With a company-owned solution you have to ask yourself if you will be able to find and hire application developers and administrators who can manage your solution. To a great degree you become dependent on their proprietary knowledge of your unique system and must worry about their retention and possible replacement should they choose to pursue other career opportunities down the road.
In a nutshell, you’ll always be fishing in a very limited pool of talent. But Cloud providers like Aria have multiple people for these roles. And all with experience in the exact application you will be using. Pretty convenient, right? And they haven’t done this just once but many times for many different clients. That’s experience you can count on!
Don’t you wish you could hire the people who are already the leading experts on the app you will be using? Implementing a cloud solution like Aria’s can do exactly that!
Dennis Heltzel, Aria Systems
Just learning about subscription billing? Download the new Subscription Billing for Dummies book and learn more. Are you concerned about buying the right subscription commerce solution for your company? Consider downloading the Six Key Buying Considerations e-Paper and make an educated decision on the future of your recurring revenue offering.