I recently blogged about the emergence of Case as a Service as a new model for our customers to use to procure Case Management style solutions. Since then we have spent a lot of our time speaking to our customers about this model and about why Case Management can be a compelling investment for them, and in particular why Case Management as a Service can help them to address some of the challenges they are currently facing.
One thing which has become apparent is just how wide the term Case Management is used, and for many different Use Cases. I have seen it used to describe various different scenarios from basic Correspondence Management, to applications for Security Cards to HR Grievance Cases. This diversity is a double edged sword as it means there is a large market to address but also means that there is a risk that providers do not have the necessary focus on the right solutions.
With that diversity in mind it has also been clear that there are a number of common business drivers behind these diverse needs:
Cost Pressures – Everyone is well aware of the current economic challenges in both Public and Private Sector. The pressure on organisations, and the IT they commission, to deliver real and tangible financial benefits has increased significantly in the past 18-24 months. Furthermore organisations are looking for more predictability on the value they can expect from their investments.
Speed – The days of customers being prepared to sign up to large complex technology programmes which take years to start to deliver value are a thing of the past. There is still the recognition that large programmes may be required to help drive business transformation but there is a stronger mandate that value needs to be delivered incrementally through these programmes, and quickly.
Agility – Case Management solutions tend to be applied to business scenarios which undergo a high degree of change, sometimes it is the very nature of Case Management solutions that the information, or the processes used to gather and then analyse that information, will change. Traditionally the solutions which have been implemented in this space have been very rigid in the way they handle change and this has been a cause of frustration for businesses. More recently we are seeing products where the uncertainty can be either be built into the solution itself, obviously to a given degree, or where change can be made in a much more agile manner.
Modernisation – With the Cost Pressures of recent years many organisations have been reluctant to invest in updating their IT estates. Many organisations are faced with aging and fragmented technology. Given what we have discussed on the varied nature of Case Management solutions many organisations have seen these solutions being delivered by small point technology solutions, which in their own right can provide business value but when analysed in the whole provide a complex myriad of technology and governance issues. Organisations need to modernise these solutions but without the large capital investment required to do so.
Always Connected – Aligned to the need for Modernisation we cannot ignore the world of the New User. This is the user who is well versed in accessing their personal tools and information from multiple devices and at any time. This appetite for constant access is really starting to penetrate business technology as the users bring these demands to the workplace. Meeting these demands is no longer a nice to have for organisations but a must in order to provide their knowledge workers with the tools to operate more efficiently. The aging solutions which have been in place for many years do not readily provide for this ‘Connected World’ and now is the time for businesses to invest, not only to get the efficiencies from their technology, but also as a way to attract and retain the talent in their organisations.
So how can Case Management, and in particular Case as a Service, help organisations who are faced with these challenges:
Providing a modern and agile platform – New products from Case Management vendors provide a platform which is agile in the way it meets business needs and in the way in which it can be deployed in a multi-channel environment.
Speed to Value – Two key enablers here. One is the ability to have a Cloud based platform ready for use in days, or even hours, and not the typical lifecycle of months. CaaS solutions are ready to be turned on and scaled very quickly, base platforms can be made available at a fraction of the time and with reduced Capital expenditure. Secondly is the tooling which Case Management products provide and the acceleration through configuration. Solutions can be built rapidly with our customers instead of the long winded approach of heavy documentation. Case Management products in the market promote this approach to IT delivery which not only reduces time to deliver but also provides a much more engaging and open approach to building solutions.
Lower Costs – There are several ways in which CaaS can contribute to lower costs for our customers:
- The cost to implement will be reduced through the products which are available to us,
- The cost to get started will be reduced as we leverage the ‘as a Service’ model,
- The risk will be reduced for our customers as they can purchase these services on a utility basis without the need for large up front investment,
- The cost to run and maintain solutions will be reduced through leveraging a single consistent platform to meet the varied business needs.