In a recent Built In Chicago feature, BigTime CEO Brian Saunders talked about the agonizing and counterintuitive business decision he had to grapple with at a pivotal point in the company’s growth.
In 2002, many of BigTime’s customers were using an on-premise version of the company’s time tracking and billing software. Saunders knew that the enterprise software industry was moving to a cloud SaaS platform, but about half of the company’s revenue came from on-premise customers.
These were the impossible choices available to Saunders and the company leadership. They could stick with the status quo, delaying their move to the cloud. They could try to develop cloud solutions and support their legacy customers, knowing it would spread the company too thin. Or, they could bet the business on the cloud.
After wrestling with the options, Saunders and the board decided to invest in the cloud, believing it would be better for their customers and for BigTime.
Their investment in the future paid off. A large number of BigTime’s clients with local installations immediately decided to follow the company to the cloud. For years now, all of BigTime’s customers have been hosted on a modern SaaS platform, without a single on-premise installation.
The decision to go all-in with the cloud has been good for BigTime customers, as well as the company. Since 2011, BigTime has doubled its employee count from around 12 to 25. Just under a year ago, the company passed the milestone of $1 billion billable hours tracked on an annual basis, and six months later that number increased to $2 billion.
Quoting Simon Berg with The Entrepreneurs Insider Network, “The worst kind of action in business is always inaction, and the most successful leaders are the ones who make moves when there are no right moves.”