Does your operating system (OS) make your life simpler? Does it increase your efficiency and productivity?
A Linux user would say they can sail along smoothly without the risk of any malware/security breaches. A Windows user will probably highlight how well the OS ranks in terms of compatibility with all of the hardware out there. In any case, an OS is designed to make your life easier so that you can focus on solving your business problems, not fixing your software problems.
With that in mind, what makes an operating system an irreplaceable part of our daily lives? Ideally, an operating system is a software that manages computer hardware and software resources to provide a friendly environment for you to get work done. Communicating the user's instructions to the hardware and ensuring a smooth transition of information between the user and the hardware is at the core of what an OS needs to achieve.
Now imagine a similar scenario, but just for cloud software. How does a cloud software morph into an operating system once business processes get involved? For most business owners, having a capable all-in-one tool that can help them manage and run their business on the cloud, end-to-end, all under one tab, for one price, with one suite, and paying only one subscription, is almost too good to be true. A deeply unified and seamlessly integrated OS for business does all of this without running up high costs and without having to invest in countless resources for better processes.
Before we take a deep dive into what an OS can mean for your business, let's walk through the various layers that comprise one.
The operating system
Singular or standalone products are crafted to facilitate specific problem solving for a singular aspect of business operations. Take customer relationship management (CRM) for example. A CRM's core use case is to act as a central hub for managing company interactions with customers and leads. Though many CRMs have grown past their main use case and branched out to adapt to the many requirements users may have, the core functionality still remains intact. These products are perfected over a long period of time to be efficient and versatile in solving that one particular problem. Businesses often go for single products that are self-sufficient at problem-solving.
A glaring drawback of using single products could be that it may not fill closely related gaps that a business might face, leading to limited functionality. If a business is small enough, then a well-implemented CRM (which acts as a single source of truth) along with various integrations for varied needs will suffice—for awhile. But the truth is, as your business expands, integrations will keep getting complicated and will soon lead to an impossible-to-untangle bowl of integration spaghetti.
If your business is scaling, you'll need a software that scales with it. With time, your business processes will need versatile solutions to accommodate multiple business requirements, and it might be a good time to take a look at a suite of products, rather than just a standalone product with multiple integrations.
A suite of software is usually a collection of applications tailored to your business processes. These software are similar to one another, solving both your vertical and horizontal business requirements. Without the need to compromise on quality, using a suite of applications can help you solve a multitude of problems without evaluating single products one by one for each one of your business processes.
A software suite houses products under the same domain. A marketing suite will contain apps for lead generation, campaigns, web tracking, and raw data analytics. A finance suite will house applications for all of your financial needs, from accounting to billing to inventory management.
By investing in a suite of software requirements that are similar or within the same domain, you can address your business's pain points easily, without compromising on functionality. This can be mainly attributed to one product being the champion of the bundle and others complimenting it by enabling various other functions and business processes.
The operating system
We've seen how single products and suites of software can be used in businesses. Let's go a step further and look at what an operating system can do for your business.
An OS for business is a one-stop solution to visualize, navigate, and orchestrate all of your business processes under one subscription, one dashboard, one log-in, and one price. It's a place where you can run all of your business processes end-to-end. Whether it's a CRM, a customer support application, or an eCommerce solution, an OS can be used as a platform to host and integrate various applications to run your business and navigate through any and all obstacles.
A carefully layered and integrated operating system will close multiple points of contact while collaborating, managing, transferring, and integrating your data, with complete unification at every layer.
But an OS is superior not just in the way it performs and integrates with your everyday business processes. It also provides a superlative experience in terms of privacy, role and access management, and better flow of information, and it's highly customizable. This means your OS platform can have the look and feel of your choice, no one sees any information that they aren't supposed to, and no information falls through the cracks—all while preserving and securing your data in the best possible manner.
Let's take a look at which software model would work best for your business.
A standalone product vs. a suite of apps
For businesses with specific vertical requirements, a standalone product that specializes in the vertical would be a more suitable option. A versatile platform that focuses on multiple business processes might be overkill.
Nevertheless, there are aspects of a business that one can't live without. Operations such as HR management, marketing and data analytics, and payroll and finance requirements are all crucial to a business's existence. A software that specializes in an industry vertical may not be able to fill these gaps. The business would need to incur more expenses for additional software to meet the requirements.
To facilitate multiple business operations, it's advisable to adopt a suite of products rather than settling with one vertical-based or specialized product. It's also a good practice to upgrade to a suite when your business is mature enough, making it future-ready for expansions. The purchase decision should be justified in terms of scalability and expansion.
A suite of apps vs. an OS
Your digital transformation journey may begin with a single software, but upscaling/replacing existing software to meet other needs would be imminent as the business expands. In these cases, purchasing a suite of software increases your business's efficiency and revenue, along with the promise of scalability.
Software suites that cater to various aspects of a business are on the rise. Users now prefer to invest in a software suite under one price, rather than subscribing to single products with recurring costs, which leads to the inevitable "multi-vendor spiral."
There will come a time in every entreprenuer's life when they'll have to make difficult decisions to secure their business's future. Committing to a software platform, or an operating system, can be one such decision. An OS can be used to run businesses of all sizes and budgets, making it a widely scalable and financially accessible platform.
With the pandemic affecting businesses worldwide, the importance of the digital presence and virtual makeovers for brick-and-mortar shops have become obvious. Globally, with SMBs being the most affected, it's important to acquire software at an affordable price and with ease of implementation.
How does Zoho One help you run your business smoothly?
Zoho One acts as a platform and hosts a slew of other software to provide a 360-degree perspective of applications that admins can leverage to take full control over their business operations. It houses more than 45+ native applications to facilitate CRM, customer support, security, eCommerce, HR management, payroll, finance, and sales.
Zoho One functions as a platform, communicating key problems to relevant solutions and aiding in simplifying problem-solving under one roof, with autopilot automations, data visualization, and workflows. Each product, being a standalone product on its own, boasts timely feature updates. Quick bug fixes are guaranteed.
Privacy should be a major factor in choosing the right software for your business. Zoho One makes sure that your data is treated just like our own—responsibly.
With deep integration and easy accessibility, the Zoho One OS eliminates multiple points of contact and reduces the time spent on collaborating, managing, transferring, and integrating data, providing the user with a seamless and holistic experience.
Would your business really need 45+ products?
A full-fledged business will require marketing, CRM, accounting, customer support, productivity, finance, communication, collaboration, and human resources software almost on a daily basis. Looking at historical data trends of our long-term users, the majority of our global user base has slowly adopted the day-to-day use of over 25+ products for their business operations.
Digitizing legacy systems and upgrading existing software is a must when your business has started to outgrow your current software's capabilities. Selecting a scalable and reliable software for your business builds a strong foundation for future growth and development.
If your business is mature and ready to expand, the lack of software shouldn't act as a barrier. Because each product included in the Zoho One platform is a market-leading competitor by itself, the price of this OS is attractive to businesses of all sizes.
Software that helps your business processes come in various sizes and packages. Identifying which kind of software is best suited for your business can be crucial to operating it on a day-to-day basis.
Choosing the right package, or the right blend of software, is essential for preparing businesses for scalability and progression, ensuring the business runs smoothly in day-to-day operations and is future-steady. The software purchased in the early stages determines a business's stability and potential expansion, so extensive research on scalability, expenditure, and value proposition offered by the software must be taken into consideration before choosing a single point product or a suite of applications, including an operating system.