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SaaS making your work life more flexible

Software as a Service (SaaS) is set to make your work life more flexible. The following is a post from the team at Evolve on the website Successful Workplace which considers how SaaS is changing the way we work.

Cloud computing is having a profound effect on a multitude of industries across the globe, ranging from the health care industry and IT jobs, to law enforcement and how small businesses operate.

It is an area in which there is significant opportunity for growth, innovation and return on investment. SaaS, otherwise known as Software as a Service, is a branch of cloud computing that acts as an “on-demand software” and which is where software and programs are hosted “in the cloud” and delivered by a service provider.

It is this area of cloud computing which we are interested in today, in particular the effect of SaaS on flexible working, a growing phenomenon being offered by businesses at an increasing rate.

Flexible working and SaaS?

Once you get down to the nitty-gritty of SaaS – that it can be accessed from any place where there is an internet connection via technology including mobile devices and tablets; that it gives businesses the infrastructure to scale up without upgrading their entire system; and that it means employees can work from home and do not need to commute to work – you begin to see why there is an apparent relationship between this branch of cloud computing and flexible working. Flexible workers get access to vital resources from their workstation, wherever that may be; work time is not restricted to office hours as data and programs can be accessed at any hour; employees don’t even need to be in the same country; and this option can reduce costs in terms of overheads on PC structures and providing resources for employees in-office.

Everybody wins.

Is flexible working all that?

Studies highlight that many business owners are now offering the option of flexible working to their employees (with the notable exception of Yahoo), and with good reason: Managers have highlighted benefits including an improved capacity to retain employees and serve their clients. And the employees seem to agree with this sentiment too: A study of British workers found that many felt they were actually more productive out of the office, with many of the respondents also going on to say that colleague collaboration was not negatively affected. So, it certainly does have its benefits in many, if not necessarily all, industries.

Key aspects of the SaaS and flexible working relationship

  • SaaS promotes flexible working by giving employees remote access to programs and data from their desktop, mobile or tablet.
  • Flexible workers can access the software from practically anywhere, as long as there is an accessible internet connection.
  • SaaS means that business owners can scale up and grow their flexible workforce – without having to worry about upgrading their system or investing in resources necessary for in-office workers.
  • The software can be moulded around your business and will fit within your level of collaboration and workflow.

So should I go with SaaS and flexible working?

Like most things in business, and in life, there is no one answer to this question. Yes, SaaS can be a perfect match that allows employees access to business data from just about anywhere and which still promotes colleague collaboration, but there are issues surrounding this relationship that must be considered: Any downtime of the system can mean your business is losing money; you are leaving your data in the hands of employees who you must place a great deal of trust in; data is placed in the trust of an “outsider” service provider, so to speak; and, even though you may not think it, internet access is not available everywhere.

In the end, SaaS is having a positive impact on flexible working, but there is still room for development in terms of the technology and how businesses offer this option to their employees. Choosing to combine and implement this structure will ultimately depend on how your business operates and where you want it to go in the future.

To find out how Merlin Software for Vacation Ownership can make your work life more flexible, contact Mike Ashton on mikea@quickmerlin.com

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