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By Jeff Wing
October 26, 2016
When the desktop revolution swept in to digitize workplace processes, hopes were high for a “paperless office”. As it turned out, paper didn’t disappear from the office (not by a long shot), but workflows were streamlined, important documents were digitally secure and could always be found when needed, and the Master Digital Copy made sure that all relevant parties could share in the same document version.
When the Internet came into common use, delivery of software by download made the process of modernizing office processes even easier. Almost too easy, one might say. A downloading frenzy commenced in solution-starved construction offices everywhere. Soon enough, the flood of non-integrative single point software products—accounting, sales, marketing, bidding, drawings (to name just a few), began to overwhelm the office; an avalanche of "solutions". When it became apparent that the mountain of office software solutions was now the new problem, developers and industry thought leaders started brainstorming. Might there be a way to truly make it painless to sign on to the Digital revolution?
When it debuted, SaaS surprised the business sector with its service model and customizable interface, and was embraced like a long-lost friend. SaaS addressed all the office and jobsite "pain points" with a selection of self-produced, distinct digital tools. Separable, specialized, customizable, the SaaS tools had the huge added benefit of being someone else's baby to watch over. This digital tool set was offered not as a software package awaiting installation on your company’s server, but as a simple subscription service. Software was actually being offered not as an in-house tool, but as a deliverable. For a flat subscriber fee, the client would make use of an incredible array of discrete and distinct project management tools to iron out and fantastically streamline every issue, from budgeting to drawings to schedules and beyond (as they say). SaaS took the momentous power of distinct software "point" solutions and removed the inconvenience.
Today, SaaS does it all, handling the messy software-and-server back end while delivering to the client whichever software tool is required, the solutions themselves categorized by workplace issue. The high-maintenance stuff is parked on the SaaS provider’s server, and subscribers can finally enjoy all the benefits of a digital tool kit with none of the former hassle. Since the early 2000’s, SaaS has become the standard approach for construction companies interested in a digital project management model.
Now comes the reboot. And a chance to make use of your equity.
Irony: SaaS’s software “rental” model has long since been building your equity. That’s right; SaaS makes you a renter with equity. What equity? The constantly growing equity of your own project info, gathered and deposited daily into your own SaaS databank by a cloud-based system that never sleeps. With SaaS, though you are only subscribing to software and not buying it outright (that’s the beauty of SaaS, after all), the cloud-powered SaaS model is filling your data account with...well, data—your data.
Over time your SaaS-based project reports and transactional records have all been archived, as you would expect. This means you have built for your company a rich repository of data. It is only a massed aggregation of your transactional business numbers, collected in your company account over the time you’ve been a SaaS subscriber.
What does this mean?
Your materials purchases, your safety reports, your punch lists, your collected submittals – these raw numbers and info, a mixed-up alphabet soup of data, contain powerful strategic intelligence that will push your company forward and positively affect your next round of strategic decisions. It needs only to be strained by algorithm, and the letters arranged into words. Powerful, truth-telling words. Welcome to NextGen SaaS.
In Part 3 of our NextGen SaaS series, we’ll explain the incredible strategic power locked in your data.
Next Generation SaaS
Big Data - A Drilldown
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