Putting Productivity Back in the Hands of the Small Business Employee

Repost from IsUtility

Cloud computing take different forms and, consequently offer different benefits, but generally, client companies move towards this model for its scalability. Clients receive scalable resources (via remote pc access, computing, storage, applications, etc.) with instant on/off capabilities, typically at a lower cost of conventional, in-house computer services.

Particularly in today’s economic climate, organizations need to demonstrate ROI, and have the ability to seamlessly integrate without putting the organization at risk (in the forms of heavy capital IT expenditures, downtime, and security).

Paula Selvidge, Vice President of Products and User Experience, Perfect Forms, shares her insights on cloud/utility computing solutions, and how they put productivity back in the hands of the end-user.

In today’s environment of cloud computing you don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company with a multimillion dollar IT budget to get the benefit of the latest revolution in business process management and productivity enhancement. All you need is a web browser and you can get your money’s worth on productivity solutions right away. An SMB looking for productivity tools needn’t have to accept dozens of useless pieces of bloatware in order to find the solution they actually want.

I was recently looking through a Forrester Research survey from last year entitled “The State of Enterprise Software,” analyzing yearly software adoption trends. In the report, Pierre Garbani, VP and principal analyst at Forrester, stated: “Companies are willing to adapt their business processes to cheaper packaged software solutions rather than wait for custom applications. Automation is the key to IT’s future.”

I couldn’t agree more; workflow automation is critical to the advancement of IT within organizations everywhere. However, customers shouldn’t have to choose between what’s cheap and what’s good. One of the reasons PerfectForms exists is to provide our SMB users with the most efficient, easy-to-use, intuitive and up-to-date way to automate their daily workflow processes – everything from timesheet forms to vacation requests to CRM and lead generation – and as an added bonus, our solutions are really affordable.

The key to making any business thrive is flexibility; too often, SMBs find themselves trapped in a relationship with a pricey, cumbersome legacy application that they’ve grown to depend on for daily operations. Small businesses should focus on automation solutions that give them the choice of how to install it – on-premise or on-demand – and provide every graphical and functional building block they need to create electronic workflows, track user input and utilize this data to make their businesses run more efficiently. These web-based workflows allow SMB workers to focus on their jobs and passions without wasting hours trying to figure out how to use an outdated application that probably won’t even do what you need it to do.

Another advantage of using cloud-based process or workflow automation applications is that they’re easy to maintain and update. There’s no hardware to integrate, no long outages while the system gets upgraded. They’re grab-and-go intuitive solutions, automatically rolling out updates to in seconds. And SMBs don’t need to abandon the idea of customization with a SaaS solution. On the contrary, the flexibility of being available in real-time on the Web makes automation apps like PerfectForms simple to modify to fit any company’s standards.

Choosing between quality and price isn’t a choice – it’s a wholly unnecessary chore. SMBs trying to modernize should make sure the solutions they’re using can grow and scale with them. As the old adage states, the best way to get from point A to point B is a straight line – the same is true when it comes to overcoming the business challenges you face on a daily basis. Simply ask yourself – would you rather be able to address the challenges you face in real-time with a simple on-demand solution tailored to your specific pain point, or would you rather spend weeks trying to figure out which element of a major enterprise vendor stack solution may (or may not) address your specific issues?

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