Software as a Service (SaaS), has been an established business model since the 1960s. At that time, a software application would be loaded onto one mainframe computer with several mini-computers connected to it. In the 1990s, data storage became a problem because all computer software was bloated and hard drive space was expensive – thousands of dollars for 5 MB was considered a reasonable price. This lead to the rise of SaaS as we know it today, with SalesForce firmly taking the leadership position – a company that started their business model using SaaS in 1999, a daring and innovative move at the time.
SaaS Advantages for Businesses
Businesses benefit from SaaS in many different ways. The largest SaaS advantages are easy and fast implementation, scalability, mobile access and ongoing support. Historically, implementing new software was a huge task – in terms of time and money spent. It also required a team of IT specialists to upkeep. With SaaS, even smaller companies can have access to the same resources, and they can pay for additional services when they need them.
Benefits for Consumers
Consumers also benefit from SaaS. They can access services from anywhere without making any long-term commitments. Software as a service commonly is tied to low pricing, convenient updates and secure backups. But consumers have high expectations.
A content discovery SaaS satisfies consumers’ needs for research, quality, speed, consistency and novelty. Consumers are increasingly researching online while looking for quality products. They expect to get their questions answered right away, but in order to make a purchase decision, they have to trust the company they’re buying from. Finally, consumers are always looking for the next great product or experience. Here as well, a content discovery SaaS delivers on all fronts, as it provides trustworthy, up-to-date information in real time – resulting in a customer who has done their homework and is ready to purchase.
Software as a service is here to stay. Even big companies like Microsoft have increased their cloud revenue, which is predicted to make up 30 percent of overall revenue by 2018. What may be even more surprising is that small businesses are also embracing the cloud for SaaS deployments. In fact, SaaS adoption is reaching 94 percent for this market segment. And with the explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing, technology necessary to make IoT work, is quickly rising as well. In fact, some suspect there could be a shift from cloud to edge computing.
Not surprisingly, internet and software companies are at the forefront of adopting SaaS technologies. But SaaS has found a home in a wide range of industries, including marketing and advertising, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, real estate, healthcare and education.
Despite the benefits of SaaS, there are some points to consider before jumping into an integration. Namely, SaaS integration can take time. Speed to market and business logic automation can be more valuable than a hyper focused SaaS that requires time to integrate. Determining where the value lays early on is key.
Theoretically, when it comes to SaaS integrations, the faster and easier they are, the better, as revenue growth is at risk. However, getting it right is costly, as highly skilled technicians are often needed. As Jamie Yap from ZDNet notes, “A poorly-planned integration could result in siloed apps that do not communicate with each other, which wipes out the benefits of using SaaS.”
And even if cost weren’t an issue, the time to integrate is often a long journey. Ganesan Periakarruppan, ICT industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan says, "While some SaaS vendors claim their applications are easily integrated with on-premise apps, the general feedback from the industry has been negative, saying that even if it happens, the process flow tends to break along the way." Although a quick integration is commonly desired, the reality is that a proper setup is often time consuming. Key is planning ahead, developing a plan and factoring in contingencies and delays.
Big companies are often slower to embrace change, but even Microsoft has jumped onboard the SaaS bandwagon – so much in fact that they have recently taken the lead ahead of SalesForce. Adobe, SAP, Oracle, Intuit and many others are seeing astonishing growth.
Companies are now adapting SaaS to keep customers happy. Incidentally, using SaaS requires the business to take the initiative in ensuring customer satisfaction, because the customer can usually cancel – and will do so – if they don’t perceive the value of your service. Fortunately, using SaaS also makes it easier to build stickiness into the process and keeps customers retained and happily using the service.
Tangelo’s content delivery SaaS is built to keep customers happy, because it provides them with solutions to their current problems. At the same time, companies receive a customer who is ready to purchase and doesn’t need to be convinced to buy.
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