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Technology is making many aspects of research administration more efficient, but keeping pace with the ever-changing research landscape still presents a challenge. You need software solutions that change and grow with you, but with traditional on-site software, constant updates and upgrades are disruptive and costly. They create confusion, waste time and interrupt workflows in research offices, where staff cannot afford such delays and distractions.

Fortunately, there is a better way to keep your research office ahead of the curve: Take it to the cloud. One of the biggest benefits of moving to a cloud-based research administration solution is that it takes the burden of maintaining and updating your solution off the shoulders of your campus IT staff. For traditional, non-cloud solutions, IT staff has to schedule downtime—during which the software will be unavailable—so their team can run tests and install updates. These maintenance windows are often frequent and time-consuming. SaaS solutions like the Cayuse Research Suite, on the other hand, put the responsibility on the provider to keep things running smoothly. That means faster fixes, more responsive troubleshooting and less downtime, even for major enhancements.

For example, Cayuse 424 recently added support for Multi-Project proposals, a complex set of functionality that required a significant development effort. For traditional enterprise software providers, a new feature of this magnitude would require them to individually upgrade each client over a period of time. This process would typically entail additional license fees, professional services expenses, internal IT resource involvement and, most importantly, time. By comparison, thanks to the cloud, Cayuse 424 users simply logged off on Tuesday, came back Wednesday morning and began to develop multi-project proposals. Every client. One night. No additional costs. No professional services. Clients experienced no tangible interruption and started using the multi-project proposals enhancement immediately.

Not only do SaaS solutions speed up maintenance and upgrades, but they can also ensure that the software solution stays up-to-date with rapidly changing regulations and legislative policies. Keeping up with these legal requirements is a constant challenge for research administrators. Working with an on-site solution, which requires manual updates, can make it very difficult to stay in compliance. But with a cloud-based research administration solution, providers can make seamless changes behind the scenes, keeping the solution current so users never have to worry.

Although there are great benefits to moving to the cloud, it is worth mentioning that not all cloud-based solutions are equal. Many vendors offer a hosted version of their software and position it as a cloud-based offering. These offerings may provide some but not all of the described benefits, and it is important to fully understand what is included in a cloud-based offering. By harnessing the power of the cloud and moving to a SaaS solution for research administration, you can save your institution a great deal of money, time and stress. And your institution’s overall carbon footprint will be reduced as well. Your solutions will stay up to date without costly downtime. You’ll never have to worry whether your solution is in compliance, and a dedicated team of experts will protect your data around the clock. Cloud-based solutions like the Cayuse Research Suite make it easy to stay ahead of the game, leaving you with the time to focus on what’s really important: supporting your research community. That is the real power of the cloud.

Tell us: What was the biggest benefit your research office gained from switching to the cloud? Leave a comment below, to compare stories with your peers.

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