We are currently conducting a research project in partnership with Tesseract, which aims to establish exactly what you think about SaaS field service solutions. Having now reached the half waypoint of this project there are some interesting results already becoming prominent…
SaaS field service solutions still in the minority
Of the total respondents so far the overwhelming majority (83%) are currently still using an on premise solution as opposed to a SaaS field service solutions. However, of those still using an on-premise solution 62% have stated they were considering moving to a SaaS platform when they next upgrade their field service management software.
The key driver in this shift towards the cloud is the added mobility cloud solutions offer, with 66% of companies citing most easy remote access as a factor in why they are considering SaaS. Other common reasons were the scalability of SaaS solutions and the more affordable pricing structure of SaaS, which 59% and 51% of companies cited respectively.
Mythbuster – security is not an issue for SaaS field service solutions
The biggest fear around moving to a SaaS field service solution was security which 52% cited as a reason they would not choose SaaS. This is largely to be expected due to the often-high profile doubts raised about cloud security.
However, it would seem it is not substantiated by the facts. Of those companies operating a SaaS field service solution none cited security as an issue they had faced.
The biggest issues surrounding cloud based systems were in fact connectivity and communication with existing legacy systems. Exactly half of companies with a cloud solution had suffered from one or both of these issues. However, only 36% of companies cited either of these as a reason why they wouldn’t choose SaaS.
Of those who have chosen SaaS all have identified easy remote access as the key reason why they opted for SaaS. Scalability was the second most popular reason for opting for a SaaS solution which was cited by 75% of companies. A more affordable pricing model and built-in disaster recovery being the joint third popular reasons that 57% of companies listed.
Additional benefits of SaaS provided by respondents included increased functionality and availability, cost, flexibility, ease of upgrades and infrastructure and all countries being moved to the same platform.
It is interesting that for both companies either already on a SaaS field service solution or considering a SaaS field service solution that less reliance on the IT department was the least common factor in choosing the cloud.
Only 28% of companies already using a SaaS field service solution identified this as a reason for choosing SaaS whilst only 10% of companies considering a SaaS field service solution cited it as a reason for consideration.
Who’s in the DMU
Whilst it is certainly true that SaaS will reduce the strain on the IT department, it is clearly not a factor that most field service managers take into consideration.
However, what is clear is that when the CIO/IT Director etc is involved within the decision making process there is more likelihood of the company opting for a SaaS field service solution.
In fact the CIO or equivalent was involved in the decision making process in 71% of companies who had opted for SaaS field service solution and was the most common figure within the decision making unit (DMU) of such companies.
However, for companies who were still operating on an on premise solution the CIO or equivalent was only involved in 46% of cases with the CFO/FD being more prominent and being involved in the DMU in 56% of cases.
As you would expect in both instances the Field Service Manager was a prominent figure in the DMU being the second most common member in companies with SaaS and most common within those companies still operating an on premise solution.
Bringing in the mobile workforce
However it appears that there are two groups that are largely being omitted from the DMU yet who strategically could have a massive impact on the success of the implementation of any new platform whether it be on-premise or a SaaS field service solution.
One of the biggest obstacles often highlighted to a successful implementation of the technology is getting the buy–in of the mobile workforce.
It is a topic we have discussed on field service news a number of times and one regular suggestion by industry experts is to get representatives of the field staff to be part of the DMU for the latest field service solution you intend to deploy. However, in both groups (SaaS or on premise) less than 15% of companies sought to include representatives of their field staff in the process.
Also with the trend to move service departments away from being cost centres and towards profit centres it would surely be sensible to include a senior figure from the sales division into the conversation also. However, again the inclusion of a sales director or equivalent was a rare occurrence with no more than 7% of companies bringing the sales director into the process.
How does this shape up to your own situation? Is your company operating a SaaS field service solution? Are you considering a move to the cloud or do you think that you would always rather a platform that remains on premise instead of a SaaS field service solution?
If you haven’t taken part in the survey as yet then please do and help us build up a complete picture of the industry today.
As a thank you all respondents who complete the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win one of three £50 Amazon vouchers!