The always-on nature of business today has increased the need for flexible and reliable technologies to power day-to-day operations. The answer? SaaS.

Danny Fields, CTO, Avalara

November 3, 2022

3 Min Read
Aleksey Funtap via Alamy Stock

In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic officially began for the US, bringing widespread closures and changes to how we all went about our daily lives. For many companies, the sudden onset of the pandemic and related closures radically changed their entire business model overnight. Employees were now fully remote, storefronts moved to the digital world, and the technology to operate in a remote-first world was needed fast.

What the pandemic did for many businesses was expose vulnerabilities in their operations. Those that were most impacted were the businesses relying on legacy technology and antiquated business processes. On the flip side, businesses that had adopted digital transformation earlier were in a position to more quickly pivot and keep their business up-and-running.

The pandemic is just one example of a disruptive event that can have serious implications for businesses. There are events happening, both internally and externally, that are putting businesses to the test on a daily basis. Fortunately, through digital transformation and the adoption of SaaS applications, businesses can safeguard themselves from major disruptions and position themselves for continued growth.

Here are some ways SaaS applications are helping future-proof businesses.

Providing a Flexible Infrastructure

The pandemic-driven acceleration of ecommerce and coinciding uptick in online transactions is a perfect use case for SaaS applications. Seemingly overnight, businesses saw their online orders skyrocket, placing added demand on the ecommerce platforms, inventory management, and other technology.

SaaS applications provide an added layer of flexibility that allows businesses to scale their usage up and down depending on the demand on their business. Because SaaS applications are automated, the platform can scale as needed, meaning business owners can stay focused on running their business, not whether or not their technology is working as it should.

Additionally, the flexibility SaaS provides also means that businesses have a solid foundation for growth or major shifts in their business. For example, if a retailer wants to scale their operations in another country, they can use the existing SaaS platforms enabling their ecommerce business to easily turn on transactions and services for another location.

Providing an Ecosystem of Integrations

The pandemic didn’t just push people online; it also pushed people onto more digital channels and platforms than ever before. The result is a rapid uptick in omnichannel commerce where businesses are selling through a myriad of channels to best reach their customers. While omnichannel commerce offers opportunities for businesses to reach more customers, it also creates challenges for businesses when it comes to managing data across disparate platforms.

SaaS applications can be integrated to increase visibility across the systems powering the entire business. This visibility can help businesses be more informed about their inventory levels, manage logistics costs, and consolidate regulatory compliance.

With an ecosystem of SaaS integrations, businesses also benefit by being able to quickly spin up new integrations as their business grows, evolves, or is impacted. Integrations make it possible for businesses to continue serving the changing needs of their customers as they flock to new channels and platforms.

As businesses work to prepare their operations for the next inevitable disruption, SaaS applications will become a core piece of any future-proofing strategy. By implementing SaaS, businesses can benefit from the peace of mind that comes with a scalable and flexible technology foundation to run their business on. As our digital economy continues to evolve, the adoption of SaaS platforms will become critical in meeting the current and future needs of a business, while also safeguarding them from significant disruptions.

About the Author(s)

Danny Fields

CTO, Avalara

Danny Fields is CTO of Avalara where he oversees the company’s global engineering teams and guides product innovation, integration, and reliability in the complex world of transaction tax compliance. Previously, he was senior vice president of engineering and chief software development officer with MobileIron, a mobile security company. Before that, he was a group VP with Oracle, responsible for building the Oracle Service Cloud.

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