Did you know that, according to research conducted by BetterCloud, companies with over 1,000 employees use about 170 SaaS applications? The SaaS model is becoming more popular among businesses since it offers many benefits.
Interestingly, even some web designers use SaaS platforms, such as Webydo and Webflow, to build websites without needing to use their coding skills.
Sure, custom web design is better since it offers more possibilities, but these SaaS platforms present a very attractive option, especially for people that have no coding skills.
Still, for additional info on custom web design, it’s probably best to contact a web design company that has extensive experience, instead of relying on online website builders.
Either way, we’ve seen a lot of businesses transfer to SaaS applications. Why do companies decide to migrate from the traditional software model to the SaaS model?
Before we answer that question and show you how SaaS can increase your growth rates, we’ll go back to the basics.
What is SaaS?
SaaS stands for Software-as-a-Service and it refers to a way of delivering an application over the Internet as a service. Basically, instead of installing software on your computer, you can use a SaaS application to access it online. Think Dropbox or Google Apps.
The SaaS applications originate back in the 1960s. However, the first SaaS solution to achieve record growth was built almost 40 years later by Salesforce, when they launched their customer relationship management (CRM) platform in 1999.
At first, nobody thought anyone other than startups and small businesses could use it since they considered it to be too closed, too slow, and unstable. That, however, turned out to be wrong.
SaaS applications progressed quickly because of internet improvements and are widely used today – you can find SaaS products for almost all business applications. This industry continues to grow rapidly since pretty much all leading companies in the software industry are moving toward using it, including Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle.
And, it’s not just businesses that use SaaS on a day-to-day basis. Regular peoples all around the world rely on it. Netflix, Slack, Canva, and Zoom – these are all common examples of successful SaaS apps.
How does SaaS contribute to an increase in growth rate?
Transferring from in-house software to SaaS reflects on the company’s growth rate in multiple ways. Let’s explore them.
A huge upside of the SaaS apps is that they allow multiple users to work together on the same project simultaneously. Your employees no longer have to email the project to one another to keep each other in the loop.
- A great example of a SaaS app that allows users to collaborate efficiently is Trello. It’s a popular app that managers use for project management. You can create a new card for each project, tag the users that are working on it and put all information in the description. You can also set a deadline, make comments, and attach files.
Naturally, using SaaS apps will allow your employees to save time and become more productive since they have more time to focus on performing the task instead of the administrative stuff.
Mailchimp, for instance, is a popular marketing automation platform and email newsletter provider. It’s fully available online, which means users don’t have to install any software for it to work. Aside from allowing users to create templates, it’s used for email campaigns.
By creating an email campaign, you can manage subscriber lists, use customer targeting, and generate detailed reports to enable analysis.
With the help of Mailchimp, your employees no longer have to waste time tracking down new subscribers and sending an automated email. The app will do it for them.
Many SaaS apps are completely free, or at least to some extent. MEGA Cloud, for instance, provides 50 GB of free storage to individual users. Trello also has a free plan that you can upgrade at any point.
Even if free plans don’t work for you because you need more advanced features of the SaaS apps, many of them still turn out to be more affordable than in-house software.
Just think about it – when you buy in-house software, you also need to buy the necessary hardware and hire the people to maintain it and this can be quite pricey.
- On the opposite end, SaaS business models are usually subscription-based, meaning you would need to pay a monthly fee to continue to use it. Most of the time, if you don’t like it, you can cancel it. You also don’t need to spend any additional money on maintenance and upgrades, since that’s something the SaaS company is in charge of.
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemics started, businesses had to shift to send their employees home and continue operations off-site. Though the pandemics may end soon, remote work has proved to offer a lot of benefits.
For instance, employers are no longer limited by the employee’s location when hiring, which allows them to have access to a wider talent pool.
Overhead costs also tend to be lower since, for example, employers no longer need as big office space as before if half of their employees are working from home. Smaller space is usually much more affordable than the bigger one.
SaaS apps are also compatible across multiple devices – mobile phones, tablets, and computers. This is important in terms of the website’s ranking on the search engine results page (SERP) since Google adopted the mobile-first approach.
Integration with other business systems
Humans are creatures of habit and routine. They easily get used to the way things are, even when they’re not in their best interest.
With SaaS apps, however, you don’t have to change all the apps and programs you’re already used to. Technology has developed, which means you can integrate the SaaS app with the software you already have. This allows you to connect and automatically sends information from one app to another, without having to do it manually.
- SaaS integration allows your team to focus on performing more business-critical tasks, instead of spending their time on reentering the same data across different programs.
- Once your employees can dedicate more time to meaningful and strategic work, they’ll enjoy their jobs more, which will inevitably lead to more satisfied and happier customers.
If you’re not willing to invest in high-quality anti-virus software and an IT department in charge of keeping your and your customer’s data safe, you risk leaving your system vulnerable to cyberattacks and data leaks.
Though it makes sense that you’re trying to save up, it’s just not worth it since it could cost you your reputation. Research shows that restoring brand image after customer information is lost or stolen takes about a year.
Instead of taking your chances with hackers, we advise you to invest in a SaaS app since their providers frequently update security measures to protect your and your customers’ data and prevent identity theft.
Easy and frequent maintenance
Software installed on the computer will inevitably have some bugs. If you’re lucky, they won’t present much of a problem, but if you’re not, they can be pretty annoying.
Either way, we have some bad news – you might have to wait quite a while before the new version is available, and the developer removes the bugs.
SaaS apps, on the other hand, undergo frequent updates to maximize security and remove bugs. Most of these apps offer great customer support that allows you to point out any bugs you may notice so that they’re swiftly removed.
For that reason, they’re more user-friendly and provide better features. They’re also less costly because SaaS app companies include maintenance in the monthly subscription you’re paying, so hiring IT service providers becomes a thing of choice.
- How to choose a SaaS provider? There are a lot of SaaS companies out there that you can choose from. Aside from the features the software offers, there are some other things you should have in mind when picking a provider.
Since the SaaS provider is the one in charge of maintenance and updates, expecting high levels of support is completely on point. However, all providers state they provide support, but the question is, will they actually deliver?
To answer this question, you’ll have to conduct a little research on your own and read the reviews other customers wrote online.
Keep in mind that some providers don’t offer the same level of support to all customers, but only to those subscribed to premium accounts. In that case, make sure you read the fine print when picking a subscribing package.
Transferring to a new app with a completely new interface and features can be challenging enough without having to worry about migrating your data from an on-site model. For that reason, we advise you to check if your provider will assist with the migrating process because otherwise, you’ll have to spend quite a lot of time doing it manually.
Any form of training can be useful when you’re just starting. Pretty much all providers have tutorials and training videos, while some also hold webinars. You can ask your provider what kind of training and manuals they’re willing to provide.
Most people forget that purchasing a SaaS product means you’re concluding an SLA (Service Level Agreement) that determines other details such as availability and performance, not just the price and the features.
Make sure the agreement states all other crucial points, such as:
- clear definitions of downtime and availability, and what is an acceptable downtime;
- a complete list of services that will be provided
- the availability for each service
- how to report issues, loss of service, and downtime
We’ve already mentioned that the SaaS provider is in charge of data security. However, not all providers offer the same measures in terms of security. If you can’t find a list of these features, contact the provider and ask them about it.
What kind of protective measures and controls are they using? Who can access your data? Are they offering services in line with common compliance frameworks for SaaS products?
To sum it up
Migrating to the SaaS model has many perks. It affects the productivity of your employees, enables you to save up more money that you can channel where it’s needed instead of spending it on IT maintenance; all that while making sure your data is safe by applying numerous protective measures.
You should, of course, run a comparative analysis to make the final decision, but transferring to a SaaS app is definitely worth a shot.