A Brief History Of IT Management: How SaaS Has Changed Everything

My Post - 2019-04-16T181402.365.jpgWhile many of us can’t imagine a world without computers at work, some can remember a time when landlines and faxes were the killer productivity apps.

Today, it’s hard to believe, since thousands of purpose-built software-as-service (SaaS) apps are instantly available for nearly every role in an organization.

With the rise of SaaS and cloud-based infrastructure has come a new set of challenges for IT management. Let’s take a look at the history of IT use at work, who’s managed IT and how the SaaS explosion has ushered in a new era of collaborative IT management.

Flipping The Switch: A Timeline Of Tech In The Workplace

While the internet was responsible for the proliferation of networked personal computers (PC) and devices in the workplace for all, the early days of PC adoption in the 1980s set the wheels in motion for IT’s broader usage across the organization.

Early PC Magic (1980s)

A look at the Computer History Museum’s timeline shows that the personal computer was born in the 1980s, with the first branded “PC” from Microsoft in 1981, followed by the Commodore 64 in 1982 and Apple’s Lisa and Macintosh in 1983 and 1984. Each year represented more magical leaps in innovation, from graphical user interfaces (GUIs) to the mouse to CD-ROMs and the C++ programming language.

In time, it became clear that computers were here to stay, as their functionality and operating systems got more sophisticated. – Read more

Software as a Service (SaaS) – Redefining Everything

My Post - 2019-04-16T175621.100.jpgThe on-demand economy that we’re living in has brought in a new era of Software as a Service (SaaS) opportunities and everyday conveniences.

Even if the acronym isn’t familiar to you, there’s a good chance you’ve had plenty of interactions with SaaS, whether you’ve realized it or not.

Have you ever used Uber, Lyft, or Airbnb? Or how about Office 365, GoToMeeting, Cisco’s WebEx, or Google Apps? The list goes on and on. These are all examples of software that is being used as a service, or even more simply, software that is accessed via the internet rather than purchased, downloaded, and installed onto individual computers.

SaaS is one of a variety of managed services, which also includes Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), but before you’re confused or intimidated by any other techie jargon, here’s what you need to know about Software as a Service (SaaS):

Existing on the Cloud for Greater Accessibility and Ease-of-Use for All

Because the software behind a SaaS runs on a cloud-based server, that means no file downloads or time-consuming upgrades need to occur on the user’s end. Updates, patches, and latest versions are updated on the business’s side, not yours.

Moreover, because there are few hardware requirements or mandatory specifications in place, SaaS allows for more accessibility for the average user, without barriers posed by needing the latest, greatest device or the most-recent version of an operating system. If someone has an internet ready device—be it a smartwatch, smartphone, tablet, desktop, or otherwise—a SaaS-based model can be ready to go whenever you are. – Read more

What is Cloud Storage Software?

My Post - 2019-04-16T173423.473.jpgFor many people this type of software is absolutely priceless! Here we will explain why cloud storage software is so popular, and also give some top recommendations!

Essentially, finding the best cloud storage software can be a complete game changer. It takes away A LOT of stress when it comes to storing and accessing your data.

But what actually is cloud storage software? Ok, so ‘cloud storage’ is where data can be stored on remote servers and accessed from the internet, or ‘the cloud’ if you will.

Your cloud storage service provider will then maintain and manage your files, thanks to servers built on virtualisation methods.

The best examples of this type of software will keep your data secure and enable the mass sharing of files.

We’re going to talk you through four of our favourites – DropBox, Degoo, SugarSync and Yandex Disc – in this post. But before we do that, it’s important to fully understand how cloud storage can provide you with great results.

How does cloud storage software work?

To be fair, a lot of us just sign up to these types of software and don’t question the science behind them. But, how does cloud storage software actually work?

You probably know the basics. It allows your device to send or retrieve files online, from a remote data server. This same data is usually found on more than one server, so that if one server is down you can still retrieve your files.

According to Techopedia, cloud storage works through data center virtualisation. Virtual storage architecture, which is scalable and easy to navigate, is then created.

More often than not a web-based API, that is remotely implemented through its interaction with the client application’s in house storage infrastructure, is how cloud storage data operates. – Read more

4 ways to improve your Software as a Service business

My Post - 2019-04-08T123832.484.jpgDid you realize that over 80 percent of enterprise workloads will be cloud-based by the year 2020?

There is no denying just how popular cloud-based services and software have become in the past few years. If you are in the business of creating software as a service (SaaS), then finding a way to constantly improve and enhance your services is a must.

The SaaS world is filled with competition, which is why constantly optimizing the programs you offer is essential when attempting to create a competitive edge. If you start to notice your churn rate growing with each passing day, you need to take action. In essence, a SaaS churn rate describes how fast new customers are leaving and switching to a competitor. Higher churn rates are a warning sign that there is something wrong with either the software your company is offering or the subscription model you currently have in place.

Implementing the use of state-of-the-art SaaS user management software can help you pinpoint and fix problems your customers are experiencing. Here are some of the things you may want to try when attempting to improve your SaaS business.

1. Targeting your marketing efforts

One of the hardest things a new SaaS business has to do is build an audience for their product. The biggest mistakes most SaaS startups make is developing a broad marketing strategy that lacks engagement and originality. Before developing a marketing plan for your SaaS business, you need to identify your target audience.For instance, if your software is designed to make accounting tasks easier, it is safe to assume that business owners will be one of your biggest customers. Once you have identified your core audience, it will be much easier to develop a customized marketing plan. – Read more

SaaS vs. PaaS vs. IaaS: What’s the Difference?

My Post - 2019-04-08T115944.901.jpgThanks to the Internet, companies are able to not only distribute developments remotely, but also deploy them online.

Users can now access a wide variety of applications on-demand over the Internet. In cloud computing, these are known as “as-a-service” programs and can be identified with an acronym ending in “aaS”. These labels indicate the cloud application deployment model that the company uses to distribute their service over the Internet.

No doubt anybody looking into adopting a cloud-based application has seen an “as-a-service” label before. There are several labels geared for specific industries, such as disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) and integration-platform-as-a-service (iPaaS). However, for general cloud-based applications, you’ll typically see one of three deployment models: software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). What do these deployment models mean, and what do they provide for the user? Below, we outline the differences between SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, and what each deployment model means for both the service provider and the customer.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS)

Software-as-a-service is the most common cloud deployment model. SaaS refers to applications delivered over the Internet that a third party manages. In other words, the user doesn’t have to worry about hosting, downloading, or updating any software. SaaS applications are typically accessed and ran via a Web browser, eliminating the need to download software onto a user’s machines. In addition, SaaS providers manage everything, from the runtime to the networking.

There are plenty of benefits to using SaaS applications. For example, IT teams don’t need to factor in installation and hosting expenses, making SaaS more cost efficient. The lack of management responsibilities means IT teams have more time to work on projects. However, this is also a double-edged sword. Since app providers manage the entirety of the app’s systems, it’s up to them to fix it – meaning IT teams may experience downtime that they can’t do anything about. – Read more

3 Things to Know Before Making your SaaS Product Marketing Plan

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The SaaS market is going crazy.

Like, 17.3 percent year-over-year market growth—to $85 billion in 2019—kind of crazy.

Helping your SaaS firm grab a piece of that pie might seem daunting at first. But if you resist the urge to create an “all the things, all the time” SaaS product marketing plan, you can succeed. How? Do your homework, and establish these three things before you start planning:

1. Your Hero Statement

Trying to be everything to everyone in that $85 billion SaaS market is a sure-fire way to overextend your resources—probably on a lot of people who aren’t going to buy from you anyway. Instead, pick out the customer segment that’s a perfect match for your SaaS product, and rock every part of that customer experience.

Enter your hero statement, which helps you focus on the right target customers for the right reasons. to It’s a combination of the company profile or persona you serve best with the problem that you’re best at helping them solve. It might sound simple, but it requires a bit of advanced research to get these two elements nailed down:

  • Buyer Personas: These are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
  • The Jobs You’re Best at: In essence, this is the Jobs-to-be-Done Theory applied to your SaaS product. Thinking along these lines can help you discover which alternatives—including and going beyond your traditional competitors—your target customers are currently using to meet their needs. HubSpot Academy offers an excellent overview of identifying which “jobs to be done” your customers are actually “hiring” your SaaS product to achieve. (Spoiler alert: They might not be the jobs you think.)

Here are some hero statement examples:

  • My SaaS firm is a hero to CIOs of $3-10 million companies who need to reduce data storage costs by 25 percent within two years.
  • My SaaS firm is a hero to marketing managers at $1-3 million non-profits who want video content to generate over 30 percent of website conversions within the next year.

As you develop your product marketing plan, check your marketing activities and goals against your hero statement to ensure you’re in alignment. – Read more

How to Pick a Cloud Hosting Provider: 7 Questions to Ask

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The cloud hosting market is growing at a brisk pace.

From startups to major enterprises, most businesses around the world are starting to realize the perks of migrating their business processes to the cloud.

Gartner forecasts the public cloud services to grow 17.3 percent in 2019 to a total of 206.2 billion with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to grow 27.6 percent.

The cloud providers offer you with various cloud platforms, such as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), etc. for your applications, websites, data storage, software development, as well as complete business processes.

However, because of the emergence of a plethora of cloud providers in the market, you must be wise in choosing a cloud provider. Here are some questions you can ask yourself while choosing a cloud hosting provider.

1. Does the cloud provider know your business?

The cloud basically provides you with the resources to host your applications or carry out your business processes on the cloud. However, every application, website, and software vary in the mode of functioning, resource requirements, and other aspects such as security.

For instance, some application might need extensive data monitoring, while others a high-performance server with SSD storage.

It is always favorable for you if the cloud provider has expertise in hosting your type of applications.

Hence, before choosing a cloud provider, you must research whether the provider has expertise in hosting your application or not.

2. How efficient is the customer support?

Talk about any industry, whether service-based or product-based; customer support is the thread that weaves the customers and the company into a community. If a company is not able to offer a resolution to the customers’ issues, no matter how good the product is, it is bound to go down the hill. The customer loses faith in the company and consequently, its products and services.

However, only resolving the issue is not enough for most customers. The customers must be responded to swiftly, and the issue must be resolved in minimal time.

The deployment of an efficient customer support system is the top priority for most cloud hosting providers. The cloud providers are responsible for hosting applications, websites, critical data, etc. for various companies. Hence, it is essential for them to cater to the clients’ issues.

While choosing the cloud hosting provider, make sure the customer support is satisfactory. You can do market research about the cloud provider, read the customer testimonials, and ratings. You can analyze the Average Response Time and Average Resolution Time promised by the cloud hosting provider.

Go for a cloud provider that offers 24/7/365 support to make sure that the technical support staff is always at your beck and call. – Read more

Five steps for transforming your software company into a healthy SaaS business

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Don’t overlook these five essentials for making a successful transition to a healthy SaaS business.

Getting the right cloud platform in place

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The necessity to implement the right cloud computing platform is nothing less than essential….

How to choose the right project management software for your business

man wearing black and white stripe shirt looking at white printer papers on the wall

The ever-evolving technology has introduced numerous innovative techniques and options to help you in organising your work. Among the best available options is To-do apps but while they are quite useful, when it comes to organising a large team’s workload, they can only do so much, and this is where dedicated project management software comes in.

Project management software not only facilitates effective communication but also enables collaboration; which is why it is vital that you select the right project management software. With the right tool, you can not only guarantee the success of your project, but the project manager can effectively ship on time. Similarly, when you are working on a hectic project, it is inevitable to have a lot on your mind; and a project management software helps you ease through the pressure. In essence, it can make or break a project!

With this in mind, it is quite clear that you need to take time to carefully think about how to acquire the right project management software. Even so, the massive number of options available it can get confusing, and this is precisely why we have created this guideline for you.

By following the few tips outlined below as well as recommendations, you can ensure that you quickly identify and acquire the right software to help you achieve your objectives and also come to a successful conclusion. Here is everything you need to know how to choose the best project management software for your business.

Why is it essential that you select the right project management system?

Attempting to manage all the moving elements of any project complex or small through manual approaches or even using spreadsheets can not only get ineffective, but it can also get out of hand pretty fast with severe consequences. Besides just missed deadlines, you could also be looking at instances of jobs falling through the cracks, overlooking of critical tasks, not having a clue as to what your resources are working on, and in a worst case scenario, your whole project getting dumped or sidelined even before it takes off. This is why it is not only right but also mandatory that you pick the right project management software.

By deploying and leveraging the right project management can effectively streamline the whole process, allowing your organisation to deliver not just high-quality work, but with greater success.


Factors to consider when choosing the right project management software:

Getting the right tool for project management has always been quite a challenge for most buyers especially if you don’t have an idea of what to look for. However, in this guideline, we outline some of the most important factors you should consider when choosing your project management software. Check them out…

1. Cost

Like with any other item you would want to purchase, the cost is a significant factor worth considering. With project management software cost goes beyond the purchase price. It is usually about whether the productivity benefits offered by this tool outweigh both the resources and time you spend on it.
Although it is in the short-term, bringing in new software to your organisation will inevitably cost you a lot of money and time. However, getting the right solution renders your projects significantly easier subsequently making the software pay for itself. Therefore before purchasing any tool, evaluate its cost as well as consider both the funds and time you will spend on it.

Project management software varies from one provider to the next. Nonetheless, what you should strive to achieve is value for your money. If you acquire the right software, it will be a worthwhile investment. Alternatively, it could get worse if your choice of software does not adequately cover your needs.

One of the best and most recommended project management software in this aspect is Mavenlink.com. At a standard cost starting at around $19/month and allowing a user capacity of 5 individuals, it is among the most cost-friendly tools available. What’s more, besides the affordable initial cost, Mavenlink is a uniquely designed program that helps ensure you never miss any deadline, a benefit which in the long-term means you get your money worth!

Mavenlink is equipped with exclusive Gantt chart snapshots that help you identify and keep track of your deadlines. It allows you to pick a baseline for your project (timeframe you expect to complete it). You can, therefore, tasks with accompanying dependencies and you can identify tasks that are colliding/blocking each other, and you can subsequently drag them and reschedule to pave the way for more crucial tasks. Lastly, it allows you to set the price budget and time for projects as well as the amount of time your team requires subsequently ensuring that you don’t blow over your budget or even overwork your crew. In essence, not only does it come cheap, but it also means you never have to incur losses.

Recommended Software: Mavenlink

 

2. Usability

Bulky and Cumbersome tools not only pose a difficulty to its users, but it also can become a significant maintenance hazard, effectively draining your business’s resources. Complex software also means a lot of days spent training your team until it is fully transitioned-which in essence is a waste of valuable time.   As such, it is essential that the tool you select affords you the proper blend of features delivered through an easy to use and intuitive interface which compliments how your team operates.

This software rates highly among software experts and users alike for its remarkable ease of use. Usually, to-do apps are traditionally too simple for complicated team projects-but not with Asana. This tool is easy particularly with to-do list based projects dedicated on due dates. Subsequently, the status updates and dashboards in this tool transform into something which can manage more complex tasks. All you need to do is list everything on Asana’s project lists that you wish to do, add notes, sub-tasks, as well as tags to monitor every aspect of your task and cancel out things as they are accomplished. What’s more, it boasts a quick graph that facilitates easy tracking the progress of each project among many other features.

Recommended Software: Asana.com

3. Collaboration

Another vital aspect of project management software that is worth considering is whether it is collaboration-friendly or in other words, does the software offer your team the flexibility and tools to work together?

When shopping for project management software, go for one that offers genuine collaboration opportunities as well as one that can be utilised by everyone simultaneously. By affording an avenue that promotes easy sharing of ideas and collective working, you can benefit from a solid team effort which permits your effective use of your team’s diverse skillset to significant effect.

Trello is a remarkable software that is virtually unmatched for its ability to facilitate effective and active collaboration. Its design is solely dedicated to collaboration with centralised notifications and comments on every task. With it, you can create boards for your projects, share them with your other collaborators, as well as link company boards and subsequently manage them simultaneously. Also, it allows you to add on the necessary features for performing your tasks.

Similarly useful is Basecamp which in essence is a real-time project management tool which facilitates effective collaboration and communication between your team. With its unique set of features that include a calendaring, to-do list, as well as file sharing among others, this tool offers an effective way for organisations to identify and monitor actionable tasks and priorities.

Recommended Software: Trello and Basecamp


4. Customisation

Any professional developer should always afford you the freedom to customise software where necessary to effectively meet your objectives. In fact, good software development firms should encourage you to identify ways on how you can customise the tool to meet your needs. This is particularly important since it allows you to tweak and twist the tool to suit your requirements and effectively meet your needs. As such, when looking for your ideal project management tool, it is essential that you ascertain that it offers you the freedom to customise it.

With Wrike, you can easily customise your tasks with track time, duration, as well as write rich-text notes and subsequently set them either as in-progress or pending rather than just checking them off. What’s more, to help you keep up with your tasks notwithstanding your location, it allows you to export a customised calendar feed comprising just the fundamental details of the tasks you want.

Recommended Software: Wrike

 

Things to remember

While picking out the right project management software can come off as intimidating and confusing. Think of it: right before you are a wide array of options promising you optimised decision making, progress, as well as improved customer satisfaction but then again, it could also mean a missed opportunity not to mention relentless chaos. Nevertheless, don’t make the mistake of going for the easy way out!

By following these few guidelines and taking time to evaluate your individual needs, you will eventually identify and settle for software that best suits your needs. Choose that which is right for your organisation, your team, as well as your clients and you, will surely realise meet all your business goals with utmost ease!

Need some more insight on how to pick out the best project management software? Well, be sure to check us out at www.serchen.com. We are a business software marketplace which offers over 17,000 different software solutions in more than 400 different categories, and you will be sure to find the right tool for your business.

What’s more, if you want to access more options than those outlined above, you can also visit us at Serchen to find even more alternatives and learn more about the best project management tools available.