How SaaS is triggering the rise of mid-market companies | VentureBeat

Terrific article by Robert Abbott, general partner of Norwest Venture Partners, in VentureBeat on SaaS and mobile.

Consider his observations about the potential of new SaaS solutions:

  • The mid-market — companies with 50 to 2,000 employees — is a sleeping giant about to be energized by productivity-boosting software-as-a-service (SaaS). There are huge opportunities for innovative software vendors who can build agile SaaS solutions designed from the ground up for a mobile, social workforce.
  • The mid-market is still extremely fragmented, served by a multitude of highly specific software solutions for certain business types. … many vendors in this mid-market segment target specific geographic regions due to the complexity of their solutions and limited sales resources.
  • In the mid-market, traditional software requires significant capital and operational expenditures in order to install and manage those solutions. This client-server model is crumbling as an increasingly app-savvy workforce armed with ever more powerful smartphones creates a “BYOA” (bring-your-own-application) IT culture.
  • Startup software vendors can take advantage of new technology and infrastructure better than decade-old vendors in this new reality. They have an immense advantage over established players struggling to adapt legacy web 1.0 products to the new paradigm.

And why the mid-market is poised for SaaS

  • By discarding expensive and inaccessible computing infrastructures for cloud-based solutions, they can achieve a much higher level of business process automation for the same or even less IT investment. Risk management is easier, too, with cloud-based backup and disaster recovery solutions.

And the benefits they’ll enjoy from moving to SaaS

  • Highly flexible and customizable — adapting readily to changing business practices
  • Very scalable — expanding easily to accommodate growth
  • More intuitive — end users can do things that used to require a programmer
  • Consolidates information — providing more visibility across the business
  • Streamlines business processes — freeing up employees and resources
  • Enhances communication — more collaboration internally among employees and externally with partners

“But perhaps the most powerful capability stems from keeping real-time information at the fingertips of mobile workers. Equipped with this knowledge, they can answer questions on the spot and make decisions faster. An executive in a meeting with a key client can send follow-ups to employees back at the office who can be acting on them before the meeting ends.

Spot on. Robert concludes

New cloud-based solutions designed for a mobile and social workforce can lower the cost of IT dramatically and enable a whole new level of efficiency for mid-market businesses. This in turn can give a disproportionate boost to economic growth — and provide an enormous opportunity to nimble and innovative software startups.”

FotoNotes is excited to be in the middle of the mobile-cloud-social software movement, and to be developing solutions that benefit mid-market companies. If your business relies on mobile workers, data collection, or collaborations and communications between mobile and office workers, please contact us to learn more.

You can read Robert’s full post here: How SaaS is triggering the rise of mid-market companies | VentureBeat.