Three years ago, before I joined Blissfully, my then-employer struggled with SaaS management and employee onboarding and offboarding. They were not doing well.
At Granular, we didn’t know what apps teams used across the company. No one “owned” the apps and their renewals. And we didn’t have a plan for onboarding or offboarding teammates besides piecemeal work. As a result of being unorganized, we lost lots of work hours, spending was out of control, and we lost revenue.
Then, as their IT Systems Analyst, I introduced a SaaS solution that would change their operations, an event that gave me a hint about the future of IT. And as luck would have it, this SaaS solution would later change my future, too.
But I’ll tell you more about that story in a bit after I share my thoughts on the future of IT.
“Predicting the future is always a tricky proposition. [And] in this environment, it’s nearly impossible,” according to CompTIA.
I happen to agree with CompTIA. However, it’s why I think that to discuss the possibilities of IT’s future, you need to give it context. In other words, we should acknowledge IT’s past and present.
Historically, IT fell by the wayside, at least in my experience. Organizations thought of IT last when hiring, and when IT did come into play, it was mostly around internal support. Rarely was IT consulted for business strategy.
But today, companies are giving IT more recognition by investing more resources. Further, they’re viewing their IT departments more as partners and less as merely helpdesk support.
And this change gives me hope because these shifts are signs that the future of IT will bring unique opportunities for prepared businesses like yours.
Now that we’ve acknowledged IT’s past and present, let’s go into The future of IT and how it will affect your business.
The race for digital transformation resulting from the pandemic’s initial lockdown and ongoing challenge is the goal for most companies. They have this goal because their digital operations have become more critical than ever to maintain profitability and stay competitive in the marketplace. So they’ve needed to rethink their IT operations and tap into business data in new ways, including using emerging technologies.
As we cover my other points, you’ll notice this digital transformation motif carries through each one as a central theme.
I don’t necessarily mean robotics when I talk about artificial intelligence (AI), although that is still part of the future of IT. For me, AI technology is about optimizing efforts and resources through insights and analytics—harnessing big data—which will help identify new markets and products. Insights and analytics will also optimize pricing, improve forecasting accuracy, and more.
(Pardon the shameless plug, but…)
For example, Blissfully gives you automated visibility into your SaaS apps, usage, and spending, along with powerful workflows to manage change. It also automatically uncovers your SaaS Graph™, keeps it continuously organized, and provides workflows and automations to collaboratively manage, control, and track changes across your entire organization. In short, we’re big on automation.
And let’s not forget the analytics side of things. With automation and data-gathering will come predictive analytics. In other words, soon, you’ll be able to solve problems before they happen.
Currently, advanced analytics is helping organizations dive into uncharted data sources like audio, images, video, and internet of things (IoT) sensor data. And using predictive analytics, you’ll be able to understand possible outcomes and optimize business processes for change.
Be it traditional, cloud, a hybrid of the two, or a multi-cloud environment, another focus in the future of IT is infrastructure. Businesses can have the best of all models. But cloud computing has, and will, become a keystone in supporting IT infrastructure given the low cost of entry into cloud services.
If you haven’t been paying attention, companies are already migrating to the cloud with the pandemic as fuel. The future is more digital transformation achieved through the cloud.
With a remote or hybrid workforce, IT delivery and support needs are changing.
In the past, companies only viewed IT as support. While that might not be true today, we definitely haven’t stopped being the support.
Now and in the future, we’ll need to deliver IT support remotely with the ability to remotely configure, diagnose, and update computers with new software and patches. This remote work era is also changing the device-type needs and lifecycles.
For instance, now that our teams aren’t commuting or traveling, they might not need mobile devices as much. So IT support might move employees back onto less mobile-friendly devices, like desktop machines. And if this is the case, IT support might extend the lifecycles to get the most out of this new/old configuration.
IT jobs are following the trends as mentioned earlier. For example, “[e]mployers are very interested in skills that contribute to the maintenance and shifting of a company’s technology infrastructure,” according to a report from the tech career hub Dice.
The Dice report ranks infrastructure skills like Linux, UNIX, and systems engineering among the top abilities in job postings for Q1 2020. And systems engineering jobs experienced the highest demand between February and March when companies were beginning to react to the effects of the pandemic.
Overall, the growing need for digital transformation has created more demand for IT professionals with new jobs, from infrastructure to cybersecurity. And although the pandemic has slowed a decade-long stretch of job growth, “with businesses relying on digital tools for current operations and accelerating digital transformation for future strategy, IT infrastructure skills will continue to be a top priority,” says CompTIA.
In short, it’s up in the
As businesses move their on-premise infrastructures to the cloud as part of their digital transformation efforts, so does the demand for software-as-a-service (SaaS). And, of course, a remote workforce had a hand in this, too.
In fact, according to a Gartner report, “SaaS still dominates one of the biggest market segments amongst cloud services and is expected to grow at least $138.2 billion in 2022.”
Because of its high agility level and cost-optimization for cloud-based projects, SaaS provides a viable option to enterprises in vulnerable business environments. In other words, companies are looking for SaaS solutions to boost their productivity and grow their businesses.
Gordian Braun, CEO & Co-Founder at onetool and Forbes Councils Member, states in his article, “I believe the number of SaaS tools will grow beyond 50,000 in the next few years. The solution to the chaos could be a platform that helps business leaders and IT teams understand their full software stack.”
SaaS growth is not only about new technology; it’s also about human expertise, according to Paul Estes, Chief Community Officer at Mural and contributor at TechCrunch.
“In today’s time-starved world, most of your customers are not able to learn and understand the full capabilities of your offering on their own. In fact, most of your customers are using less than 20%, and possibly as little as 5% of your feature set,” says Estes on TechCrunch.
While Estes speaks to hiring experts through tools like Grammarly, TurboTax, or GoDaddy, we at Blissfully also see this trend in customer-client partnerships. SaaS providers, like ours, want to help you solve your business problems.
So if you’re stuck trying to come up with a solution, or if you don’t know how to use the tools you have to solve your problem, you’re not alone. We’re here to provide our expertise. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help, or open our chat at the bottom of this page.
After implementing Blissfully, business operations ran smoother, SaaS tools were easier to manage, and Granular saved a lot of money.
In fact, one of the first apps I was able to get rid of was brought to my attention by Blissfully’s authentication data. The app owner really pushed to bring it in, spending 10 thousand dollars on it!
But after I was able to show them the data and prove that no one was using the product, they agreed with my recommendation to get rid of it. This savings was about half of our ROI for Blissfully at the time.
SaaS is the future. But it needs to be managed.
Having many SaaS solutions has been a good thing for business needs. However, SaaS usage can get out of control, affecting productivity, spending, visibility, and information security if left unchecked.
Some call this SaaS chaos. We call it SaaS sprawl.
So how do you keep SaaS sprawl in check? Understand the relationship between your people and your apps through IT collaboration. Ditch the spreadsheet and automatically uncover your complete SaaS Graph, enrich it, and keep it up to date to create a system of record, a single source of truth for your company.
Beyond just SaaS management, our complete IT platform ensures you get the most out of your two largest investments: people and technology.
To see how Blissfully can help you prepare for the future of IT, request a demo today.
Scott Boddye has a background in IT, serving in roles such as IT Systems Analyst, IT Support Engineer, Desktop and Network Support Manager, and IT consultant. Currently, he is the Information Technology Services Manager and Activation Specialist at Blissfully.