5 Ways to Know If Your Business Needs a Transition from On-Premise Software to SaaS

Your company has likely already invested a lot of money in its project time tracking platform, especially if you’re currently using an on-premise system. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and shifting trends, you might be discovering that in an increasingly remote workforce, an on-prem legacy system isn’t working for you. But hey, the money’s already been spent, so what can you do? 

The Sticky Subject of the Sunk Cost Fallacy

Once your company has spent money that can’t be recovered, it’s common to see people going to incredible lengths to make that purchase work successfully. And when you’ve invested even more than dollars — like time, energy, and brainpower — into making a decision, you’re even more likely to bend over backwards to avoid feeling like your investment has been a waste. This is the Sunk Cost Fallacy, often referred to colloquially as “throwing good money after bad.” Often, when resources are tied up in forcing a poor purchase into an adequate result, emotions run high and logic goes out the window. Instead, we need to turn the Sunk Cost Fallacy on its head and focus on making sound economic choices that spend good money…on good results.


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How Digital Transformation Can Upend the Sunk Cost Fallacy

They say you have to spend money to make money, but that’s far easier said than done. However, when you find a solution that’s the right fit for your business, you’ll find the truth in that old adage. Digital transformation, in the form of a SaaS (software as a service) time tracking platform, will ultimately lead to cost savings, time savings, headache savings, and a bigger boost to your bottom line. When you make the switch to a SaaS system from on-premise tracking, you’ll see more accurate reporting, quicker approvals and validations, and reduced costing and billing errors…all leading to more revenue generated.

How do you know your business is ready for a digital transformation in the form of SaaS? Here’s how:

Your Infrastructure Doesn’t Support On-Prem

As businesses lean into lean operations, you might find your company doesn’t have the IT staff or the hardware to support an on-premise system the way it used to. Legacy systems require on-site management and dedicated hardware to operate as they should. If downsizing or outsourcing has reduced your staff, or the pandemic has taken them off-site, even the smallest hiccup in an on-prem system can have far-reaching impacts. A SaaS solution eliminates these concerns, as everything is managed by the software provider remotely. Plus, with cloud-based access, employees can track time from anywhere, on any device, without the need for licensed software installation on dedicated machines. 

You Need Fast, Flexible Setup and Implementation

On-premise systems take time to install, time to license, time to update, and time to maintain. That all adds up to a lot of time. Beyond that, there’s the onboarding process of learning and implementing a new technology across many teams at varying comfort levels. SaaS solutions eliminate much of these concerns, offering quick setup and almost instantaneous implementation. Plus, they’re designed for easy adoption and usage, so your employees can access the program on the device they’re most comfortable with and get started with almost no learning curve.

You Need Mobile Capabilities

It’s a remote world out there, and your employees are working, and tracking time, from a variety of locations. Rather than depending on them to log hours in an on-prem system days or even weeks after they’ve completed them, SaaS systems allow users to track time instantly from their phones. Some services also offer features like GPS tracking and geofencing to automatically track employees and make reporting as simple as swiping their phone. The ease of use applies to managers and supervisors as well, who can approve hours and send validations in real time, wherever they are.

Monthly Fees Are More Suited to Your Budget

On-premise solutions come with a big up-front cost, but that isn’t all. Ongoing fees for support, license renewals, and maintenance can add up quickly, making that one-time investment a major ongoing expense. SaaS systems offer a subscription-based solution, usually paid monthly. While paying month after month may seem counterintuitive, the real benefit is that subscription fees for SaaS systems are all-inclusive, so you never have to worry about added expenses or surprise fees. This also makes it easy to switch providers if you didn’t find a right fit the first time — something that isn’t so simple when you’ve invested a huge chunk of money in the up-front startup costs for on-prem solutions.

You Don’t Want to be Responsible for Upgrades and Maintenance

On-premise systems do come with some benefits, but they also come with a lot of hassles, including regular updating, maintenance, and troubleshooting and repairs when things go wrong. Switching to a SaaS solution reduces the need for downtime because all technical issues are handled in the cloud. This eliminates the need for dedicated IT staff, and frees up your existing team to deal with more pressing problems. You’ll thereby increase your efficiency and keep your time tracking and billing accurate and up to date, without the risk of a shutdown.

How to Smooth Your Digital Transformation

If your company is ready to enter the digital era, there’s never been a better time. There are a wide variety of SaaS options available to fit every use case and business need. But to ensure a smooth transition, you’ll need to do a little legwork early on.

  • Do your research. The number of SaaS platforms out there means you can shop around for the best price and features, but it can also get overwhelming. Determine the key capabilities that matter most to you, and compare how your top contenders rate.
  • Protect your data. The biggest benefit of on-prem systems is the ability to maintain security and keep your data safe. However, SaaS systems have come a long way in delivering on promises of data security. This is often depending on industry regulations, so look into their security policies before you sign anything.
  • Look for customizations. On-prem offers limitless capabilities to customize and build the system according to your needs, but SaaS systems are quickly catching up in this area. Look for systems that provide flexibility, integrate with the apps you use most frequently, and align with your overall ecosystem.
  • Try before you buy. With no upfront costs and usually no contracts, SaaS solutions are ideal for businesses who aren’t sure what their exact needs will be or how they will evolve. Look for systems that offer free trials so you can get a taste of its capabilities before you sign up. And make sure there are no strings attached for any signups, so you can terminate services if it’s not the right fit.
  • Onboard employees. Make sure your team members have adequate time for training, but keep in mind that with SaaS, adoption and implementation times are relatively low. Your system provider should be able to help you with training and answer any questions your team members have along the way.
  • Collect data. One of the best benefits of using a SaaS system is that most offer in-depth, real-time analytics to give you increased visibility into your data. Look for a service that provides insights on your most valuable business metrics and gives you customizable reporting options. 

Is 2021 the year your company will make the digital transformation? It certainly can be with knowledge of the benefits of SaaS versus on-prem systems and these tips on how to identify your readiness.


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Wendi Williams


Wendi Williams

Wendi Williams is a freelance writer based in Indianapolis, IN, with over a decade of experience writing for a variety of industries from healthcare to manufacturing to nonprofit.


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