What is SaaS?
If you’re just starting to explore the concept of SaaS, this is the place to find out what SaaS can do for you, see how SaaS is different, identify questions about SaaS, and learn more about developing SaaS applications.
Roughly a decade ago, starting up a software company required the right idea, identifying what the customer wanted, getting a handle on the competition and the market, and ultimately—a huge amount of money. To launch a software company from the ground up, companies had to buy, build, and maintain their IT infrastructures despite massive costs.
Software as a service (SaaS) provides companies with a new approach. They’re sometimes referred to as web-based software, on-demand software, or hosted software. However you choose to say it, SaaS applications run on each provider’s servers. That means it’s possible to plug in and subscribe to services built on shared cloud infrastructure. SaaS companies have gained steam as of late, much because of their many benefits and opportunities to businesses of all sizes and scopes. From seamless integration to low barriers to entry, here’s what’s driving customers to take advantage of SaaS software:
- Low Barrier to Entry
With the SaaS model, companies get all the sophistication and function of traditional software models but without continual maintenance or major up-front costs (license costs are comparatively lower or free of charge). Plus, SaaS is already installed and configured—that means companies can get the ball rolling a whole lot quicker.
- High Accessibility
SaaS applications are available from any computer or any device—any time, anywhere—via SaaS cloud computing. Considering the Internet is so ubiquitous, SaaS platforms tend to have high adoption rates, along with virtually no learning curve.
- Decreased Upfront Costs
As mentioned before, SaaS platforms have lower initial costs compared to traditional software. Because they are subscription based, costs are much lower. When SaaS providers manage the IT infrastructure, costs drop for hardware, software, and manpower as well.
- Effortless Upgrades
Because the provider manages all updates and upgrades, SaaS platforms eliminate the need to download or install the application. The SaaS provider also takes care of availability, so customers do not need to add hardware, software, or bandwidth as the user base grows.
- Seamless Integration
SaaS systems allow companies to continually scale software requirements up or down on depending on business needs and customer demand. Many SaaS providers also offer customization so each company can meet individual needs. Plus, many provide application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow integration with existing applications.
How to Achieve SaaS Success
Because SaaS is different than traditional software companies, it is important to treat them differently. For a fruitful SaaS experience, stick to these guidelines:
- Track Product Usage
Since the SaaS model provides facts and figures about your customers, use it!
- Don’t Stop After SaaS
While software as a service takes out a lot of the work from the beginning (for instance, installation and continual maintenance), it’s important to continue rolling out compelling offers and strategizing your marketing plan.
- Avoid Relying on Traditional Strategy
The internet is ever changing. It’s okay to change your service and release new iterations rather than stick to the slower pace of traditional software releases.
- Get that Feedback
Engage with customers and use their feedback to better future product iterations.
Make the Switch to Software as a Service
With SaaS, developers can support a large number of customers with a single version of a product. This approach allows companies to scale as fast as needed without replacing costly infrastructure or adding IT staff. Additionally, subscription-based SaaS pricing can help keep IT budget costs to a minimum compared to packaged or homegrown software. Because it simplifies processes and reduces customer acquisition costs, the popularity of SaaS has grown and will likely continue to do so.