The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many companies to implement work-from-home policies.
Are you prepared with the right systems to connect your workers to the software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications that will help them maintain productivity?
How has remote work changed SaaS?
The world faces unprecedented changes to how we operate due to the COVID-19 and the health precautions put into place to keep everyone safe. While no one can see the future, industry experts have highlighted a trend: Companies are not just temporarily moving to remote work; they’re doing so in a permanent fashion.
Some trends in the SaaS industry include the rise of MicroSaaS, API connections, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) migration, and a need for remote-enabled SaaS tools.
The rise of remote work
G2 recently found that 88 percent of a company’s workforce is being encouraged – or required – to work from home now. Additionally, 37 percent of employees say that they would switch jobs if it meant that they could work remotely, even part of the time.
However, these employees also have three major concerns:
- How will they maintain their work-life balance?
- How will they maintain a human connection to their peers?
- How will they keep up with their current workload?
Employers have concerns as well: 51 percent of companies worry about their workers’ abilities to remain productive in their new remote work environments. These concerns are valid as workers face a variety of technology issues with remote work, including:
- Slow or unstable internet connections;
- Slow loading speeds for applications;
- Security of home or public networks;
- Access to the helpdesk for IT concerns;
- The necessity of learning new software;
- Access to third-party sites;
- Access to internal information and solutions.
In response to the rise of these concerns, nearly 70 percent of companies say that SaaS spending will increase or stay the same.
The Growth of SaaS
SaaS is expected to have a $157 billion market share by the end of 2020 (from $10 billion in 2010). Remote work, and in conjunction, SaaS, has been growing steadily year-over-year, but 2020 saw unprecedented spikes in the migration to online services.
A new report shows that remote work has expanded by 400 percent with SaaS improvements being credited as instrumental to that growth.
The success behind SaaS’s growth can be attributed to:
- The rise in the gig and ultra-quick internet connections;
- More and more mobile-compatible applications;
- Refinement of software development;
- Lower in-office costs.
SaaS companies are helping businesses big and small succeed with working both remotely and in-person by standardizing and centralizing business processes and documents.
How do SaaS companies succeed at remote work?
SaaS companies offer services that make working remotely a much smoother process.
Not only is it easy to get started with most SaaS companies, but it’s also simple to address multiple software needs with one company’s offerings. A variety of cloud technology is also available to support SaaS usage by your remote workforce.
Companies will need a variety of different types of software to keep everything running smoothly. The types of software you might need include:
- Collaboration software, such as a corporate intranet, video conferencing, and screen sharing.
- People management, like employee engagement activities, top-performing employee recognition, tools to encourage performance, and a go-to location for learning and FAQs.
- Productivity management, such as portfolio management, time tracking, and personal task management.
- Support for sales, like sales enablement, customer success CRMs, contract management services, and even digital conversation intelligence like AI.
- Remote delivery, such as an intuitive e-commerce platform, HIPPA and GDPR-compliant messaging, and certified digital mail delivery.
Security is a crucial component here, especially for financial transactions or classified work that is being handled remotely.
As such, it’s important to take proper precautions with the remote technology you implement in order to ensure your sensitive information is kept secure.
Key points for ensuring safe remote access
Technology may be growing and improving every day, but so are the security concerns. Phishing, ransomware and even distributed denial-of-service attacks are threats that companies with a remote workforce must now face.
Companies may need one or more of these security measures:
- VPN (virtual private networks)
- Adaptable user provisioning
- Email security
- Multi-factor authentication
- AI algorithms
However, with the right technology and training, companies can ensure safe remote access and improve worker productivity.
How do SaaS companies help maintain worker productivity?
An April 2020 Gallup poll revealed that over 60 percent of Americans who are working during the pandemic are in a work-from-home situation. That number is double March’s numbers and continues to grow as we move into June and beyond.
While there are a few top theories as to why SaaS has helped companies succeed with work-from-home policies, the top ones center on the same idea: SaaS helps to ensure that business continues as usual.
SaaS allows for work to occur anytime, anywhere, and it scales as your business needs increase. SaaS operates on cloud-based systems, which means that your employees can work remotely as long as they have a reliable internet connection.
Cloud-based systems allow any SaaS company – or company using a SaaS service -to scale to any needed capacity without the need for on-site and in-person maintenance.
SaaS companies have even maintained collaboration while working remotely. Videoconferencing, instant messaging and simultaneous-use documents allow for group collaborations that mirror in-office operations. While workers may have experienced hiccups when they first began to work from home nearly 59 percent of U.S. workers say they would rather continue to work remotely than come back to an in-person setting.
With COVID-19 changing life and business as we know it, it’s important to arm your company with the right technology and processes in order to maintain a productive, collaborative and secure environment. As more businesses adopt work-from-home protocols, SaaS is pivotal to the U.S.’s switch to remote-based operations to ensure business continuity and success.