Why it’s time to move beyond your on-premise quality management software.
Think back to what quality management looked like in a regulated industry in the 1990s (or imagine if you’re too young to remember). Almost everything was done on paper, on-site. A simple misrecorded number could halt a whole process. Reporting to headquarters required documents to be mailed or faxed. Remember carbon copies?
It’s no surprise that when on-premises software solutions came around to digitize quality processes and store documents they led to significant improvements over manual processes. But within a few years, these legacy systems were failing to keep up with the pace of change, leaving users bogged down with hard-to-use, disconnected systems that inflated the cost of quality. Supply chains expanded globally, but on-premise legacy systems were not designed for such complexity. By the mid 2010s, working with these outdated, disconnected systems had become be truly painful.
Enter cloud-based quality management systems (QMS) and content management. Modern cloud applications are doing more than just cutting the maintenance cost burden of legacy systems. The flexibility of systems built for the Internet, with regular updates and that carry forward customizations, mean businesses can devote more energy and resources to innovation. If you’re not invested in moving quality systems to the cloud, you are signing up for years of frustration, increased risk, and a higher cost of quality.
With companies like Salesforce.com, Workday and more leading the way, cloud-based software has been making business processes faster, easier, and more transparent in all industries. Even industries historically conservative in nature, like the Department of Defense, have implemented numerous cloud solutions over the past five years. This revolution includes the world of QMS and content management.
A cloud-enabled quality management solution has major benefits companies cannot ignore. But how do you know if switching to a cloud-based solution makes sense?
There are a number of decision elements that set the business case for moving away from an on-premise system to a cloud-based solution.
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) While cloud-based quality management software does have subscription, implementation, training and change management costs, it is generally less expensive overall compared to on-premises solutions.
Maintenance and Support: Legacy systems are not only harder to maintain and support (good luck finding a Cobol programmer these days), but they also miss out on many modern features and functions like mobile.
Compliance: Older systems struggle to stay up to date with today’s regulations, let alone quickly adapt to regional regulatory differences.
Modern cloud applications are delivered with the ability to implement best practices immediately after implementation. Unlike piecemeal legacy systems, there is no need to re-create the quality management system processes with every implementation. A vendor with the right domain expertise can create powerful best practices that accelerate implementation and modernize the organization’s legacy environments.
The use of cloud software in quality takes a huge step forward in breaking the cycle of complacency. With automatic updates multiple times per year, quality management in the cloud will simply never be out of date. This allows IT resources to focus on higher value tasks like configuration changes based on current business needs.
Mickey Landkof is a known expert in the field of quality management systems with over 25 years of experience in technical and sales engineering in highly regulated industries. For the last seven years, Mickey has worked with market-leading SaaS companies focused on quality management systems, environmental health and safety, and document management. He has experience with Fortune 500 companies as well as startups, and was a key contributor in two successful start-up acquisitions. Mickey earned a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering from the Israel Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of British Columbia.