The ROI of Software as a Service

Mark ScottI want to talk about how implementing mobile forms within business processes makes strong fiscal sense for any size organization.

ProntoForms is a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, available via a monthly or annual subscription. This is in stark contrast to custom built software, a model with a significant continuous expense attached.

Adaptable – Smartphone, Tablet and BYOD friendly

ProntoForms supports a “configure once” and use on any device workflow – this means regardless of the device in the field, tablet, phablet (large screen smartphone) or smartphone, employees can all use the same form. Companies with employees using multiple types of devices, operating systems and even different wireless carrier networks, can all benefit from the same robust mobile form service. In an age where organizations are fostering a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment, moderately-priced, subscription-based software that supports multiple platforms is a smart, economical, easy-to-implement decision.

Alternatively, building a comparable in-house version to support multiple operating systems and devices would require significant capital and a lengthy timeframe just for conceptualization and development. Considering multiple device types, diverse Mobile Operating Systems and the rapid cycles of change in the industry, such a custom built mobile form application would require costly, continuous maintenance and support.

The ROI

At the end of the day, potential technology decisions and subsequent expenditures are measured in ROI. The best way to illustrate the ROI of ProntoForms is a realistic customer scenario. Using the ROI Calculator, a ProntoForms customer tool based on our experience in deploying over 2,500 businesses, we are able to truly see the value of the ProntoForms subscription software model. Since ProntoForms is a SaaS solution without any development costs incurred by the customer, the ROI calculator can plainly display real expected savings.

Following the scenario of a firm with ten field workers that regularly fill out forms in the field that decides to switch from paper forms to ProntoForms mobile forms, , here is the following cost analysis:

Cost Analysis (per year)

Paper form input $14,040
Delivery of forms to the office $23,400
Transportation costs $8,320
Form entry & processing $15,600
Form data clarification $2,600
Paper $2,400
Storage $1,500
Total $67,860

ProntoForms cost (per year)

Choose a carrier
ProntoForms subscription – 10 users $2,200
YOUR PROJECTED SAVINGS (per year) $65,660

The full ProntoForms ROI scenario can be seen here.

These projected savings per year are further put into perspective when you consider that independent expert Steve Woodward (a leading international expert in ICT estimation and cloud computing governance) puts the square one development cost of a SaaS like ProntoForms in excess of one million dollars.

Connected to multiple cloud services right out-of-the-box

ProntoForms is the mobile form solution with the most data connectivity options in the world. This positive attribute can be especially key for enterprises with multiple departments and business processes.

For example, a commercial field service company with three divisions and several sub departments might use several types of cloud services. Perhaps one department uses Microsoft SharePoint, while another collaborates using Dropbox and Google Drive. Still another company department may rely on Zendesk for certain data considerations. ProntoForms instantly connects data collected on mobile devices with all of these cloud services.

Consequently, if an organizational decision is made to switch from one cloud service provider to another, chances are ProntoForms supports this alternate data destination, with no new integration costs.

Furthermore, ProntoForms also caters to enterprises and tech-savvy businesses by offering a REST API. It allows companies to script and easily invoke and automate data exchange with the ProntoForms server. This applies to data input such as dispatching and data sources, and to data output such as data destinations. The ability to further automate the flow of data allows companies to truly maximize productivity.

Cycles and Longevity

There are other factors to consider in regards to SaaS versus building software. First, technology development cycles have become tighter and tighter. In other words, the next great productive software feature or cost-saving software innovation is always right around the corner. Unless the software running your organization is SaaS, it’s not in a constant state of evolution and improvement. In fact, it may even be a competitive disadvantage for your company.

Got an opinion or a suggestion? Email blog@prontoforms.com.

Mark ScottMark Scott
Mark Scott is the VP of Marketing for the ProntoForms mobile form solution.
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