Not so long ago, software in small and medium sized organisations was a fairly insignificant expense. Your biggest expenditure would have been the purchase of Operating System licenses and Microsoft Office licenses which would have covered the business for a few years or at least until the next version was released.

But the advent of cloud has completely transformed the way software is delivered, transitioning us into the ubiquitous subscription-based model we’re all now familiar with. It’s a model we’ve all quickly adapted to at work – after all, it mirrors the way we receive similar services in our personal lives, as we sign up for entertainment, health, consumables and various other goods and services all delivered for a relatively low monthly fee.

It’s no surprise, then, to learn that business investment in software services is increasing year-on-year. According to a recent Gartner report, global IT spending this year will be up 2.8% on 2018, with a focus on enterprise application software, mobile devices, infrastructure software and business IT services.

Why does cloud-based software work for business?

Cloud and subscription-based software works well for businesses for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the upfront costs are minimal. It’s also easy to upgrade: users benefit from regular feature improvements and enhancements that are delivered instantaneously. But most importantly, this model gives us all instant access to amazing platforms designed to solve an ever-widening range of business challenges.
Investing in cloud-based software makes good business sense. It can help us empower our employees, deliver better experiences to our customers and become more competitive commercially. But although the entry costs are low, prices can add up – especially when your key systems like CRM have a number of important add-ons that are critical to your workflow.

Evaluating the value of software for your business

One way to evaluate the value of your software tools is to take a more ROI-focused approach, rather than simply looking at the dollar figures. A good place to start is by comparing your investment in productivity tools with the cost of your payroll. For most organisations, employee salaries are their greatest expense – it’s why maximising staff productivity is so important. It’s also why a relatively small monthly outlay that enables an employee to work faster and smarter can deliver significant value to a business, providing a high return on a minimal investment.

So where is your software investment best focused? A couple of emerging areas well worth exploring are Marketing Automation and Proposal Automation. One of our favourite marketing automation tools is Sugar Market (previously known as Salesfusion) which integrates with your CRM to enable you to convert unknown website visitors into known contacts, automatically nurture these prospective customers and build a relationship. We’re also big fans of PandaDoc, a proposal automation tool designed to help you create professional proposals quickly and easily. You can read our review of PandaDoc’s best features here.

To see a demo of Sugar Market, PandaDoc or any of the many other CRM add-ons that can enhance your existing systems and introduce new capabilities, contact us at