If you haven’t heard, there’s a whole new approach to software in town. Software as a service, or SaaS, is often referred to as operating on “the cloud”. SaaS allows you to use a program as much or as little as you need it without ever needing to download any software to your computer. You can save a lot of time using a program when the only setup required is creating an account and logging in.
One particular area that highlights the significant amount of time you can save using SaaS is diagramming. Diagramming comes up any time you want to visually communicate a complex idea to others when you can’t be there in person to explain. You aren’t always at the same computer when you need to use diagramming software. Being able to create documents from any location will save you time the next time you want to map out a workflow or other concept.
SaaS programs have only become possible recently because of advances in modern browsers and internet connection speeds. Because SaaS programs are built on newer technologies, the general experience can be far superior to a similar program that runs on your desktop. Downloadable programs have to support older code bases and are generally not updated as frequently. In the case of SaaS diagramming programs, you can drag and drop in a much more intuitive manner and have far more sharing options which means faster creation and distribution of your chart or diagram.
You might not even realize it but you are probably creating less diagrams because they can be time consuming to create in Microsoft Word or Powerpoint. Almost any report or document is better with a visual aid. Diagrams can save you time by reducing the back and forth on explaining a report. Ask yourself if a diagram will help make a point clearer. By removing the hurdle to creating diagrams in the first place, you time savings will multiply.
In addition to saving you time, using SaaS programs can mean big savings because unlike traditional software which charges you a large upfront fee, SaaS programs charge a subscription fee over time. Many SaaS programs have a freemium approach where you can use some aspects of the program for free. Compare the standard desktop diagramming solution Microsoft Visio which costs hundreds of dollars per license with SaaS Visio alternatives that cost dollars per user per month.
Diagramming on the cloud will remove your inhibitions about communicating visually, save you money, and help you communicate more effectively.