Usually, when we’re extolling the virtues of Reporting as a Service we list the tangible benefits it represents. We talk about automation of process and the efficiency gain it produces – around 500%. We also talk about cost reduction – around 50% when compared to alternatives – and how quickly we can “go live”, 6-8 weeks, transforming your business without a lengthy project to do so.
But recently, when I think about those messages, I wonder whether people know what it’s really like to work with a cloud-based SaaS solution. What does it mean to the business, how does it impact the day-to-day operation, and so forth?
We’ve got to look beyond the individual benefits and look holistically at what it does collectively for the business and your clients.
Our goal isn’t really to make your processes cheaper or quicker to run. It’s actually to enable you to provide the best service you can for your clients and through that understanding, we begin to see the real benefit that technology, or services supported by technology brings.
What do your clients expect you to do with the fees they pay you? They want you to provide the best service to them that you can, and they want to understand and agree that the service you deliver is worth the financial exchange that’s made for it. Most will want you to leverage technology to deliver it. Increasingly, they’ll expect you to maximise your investment in technology, knowing (as they do themselves) the benefits it will bring to all involved parties.
They don’t expect you to build and maintain every system that makes up the investment process. However, they do expect you to research, select and engage with the most efficient, most effective, best-in-class solution for each function required. They expect you to identify the most cost-efficient way to operate your business, so that you remain competitively priced, remain expert at what you do, and remain in business in the long term.
That’s what you’re buying when you buy Reporting as a Service – an innate ability to provide a better service to your clients. It’s not just the world-class reporting solution, but you’re buying the ability to direct effort and energy into client satisfaction, customer service, better research and advice, and a more robust infrastructure and delivery platform. You can focus on the differentiators that make you stand out and not the administrative tasks that pull you back down into the crowd. You don’t need to build and maintain the reporting system, or any system for that matter, you just need to use it. The time, cost and resources freed up from supporting and maintaining the system can be focused on adding value elsewhere within your business, and put you ahead of the competition.
Any successful organisation has to build a good relationship with technology and use it as an enabler for provision of their products and services. Choosing the right partners and technology is crucial for success and longevity. You cannot stand still, and you won’t be the best without investing in change. We’re experts in our field and we know we can support you in doing what you do best. Improving your offering through technology and partnership is the right model. It’s already been proven.
After all, as far as I am aware, Vidal Sassoon never made his own scissors.