SaaS technology constitutes programs and applications located on cloud servers. Such cloud software differs from the hardcore one in that clients get access to the first type using data streaming technology (via the Internet – online). In contrast, the second ones are installed directly on the hard drive of the client’s device (offline). Clients communicate with cloud services through a web interface presented as a web page (or web application). The client gets access to SaaS services on a paid subscription basis.
According to experts, the business using SaaS technologies will grow by 67% by 2030, and the SaaS market will reach over $1 billion.
Microsoft, Amazon, and Google are among the most striking examples of SaaS solutions. The mundane example is Dworkz (a UX design company in San Francisco). The three giants represent communication and data exchange services used in business, education, collaboration, and entertainment. The second example builds business models for SaaS clients. In all cases, users of SaaS applications and programs buy (partially) not applications but software as a service.
Peculiarities of SaaS technologies as business ideas
Since the past (appearance and development) of a SaaS company is associated with a qualitative change in data streaming technologies, the future is related to the development of the Internet of Things. These techniques can be applied to the organization of transport infrastructure, for example, when smart cars communicate with each other to avoid traffic jams on the streets of cities. Or in systems of self-replicating robots. The lasts are robots assembled from modules to perform various tasks for the exploration of Mars.
- A cloud application is a software solution that a SaaS company uses to provide customers with software solutions for their business tasks.
- Modular (or block) integration – we are talking about SaaS companies that make their products easily extensible, either through their integrations or through open application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs).
- Flexibility and scalability – these are the main features of SaaS products. Such software can be installed for small groups with 5–100 licenses and enterprises with several thousand users.
- Flexible pricing – it is when the user pays only for selected ones from a variety of services.
- Easy implementation and maintenance: integration, configuration, and updating (over the wireless OTA network) – all this is done exclusively by the SaaS provider.
These five features of SaaS make companies such as Zoom (which offers virtual events, cloud telephony, webinars, HD meetings, and conference room solutions in addition to video conferencing service) successful. Furthermore: Zoho – provides a unified digital operating system based on SaaS Zoho One. It is a CRM system for collaborative workforce management, marketing, and IT service management, and it also offers a custom solution through Zoho Creator. And Adobe – this one provides software tools that designers and marketers might need.
There is also the Amazon Web Service, an online platform that provides scalable business solutions for cloud computing. And Slack offers the tools you need to manage projects: personal and team chats, search by topic, reminders, calendar, and more. Metaverse (Facebook) is about crypto technologies (NFT), smart contracts, artificial intelligence, and virtual and augmented reality objects used in horizontal and vertical social connections – to create and manage digital businesses. This all is about the economy of the third millennium.
SaaS look into the future
Already, 99% of companies use one or more SaaS tools. The larger the company, the more SaaS solutions it uses. But if only large companies could already afford SaaS models for solving business problems, today, startups can do it. This is because SaaS integration is cheaper than developing software from scratch.
As areas for growth in SaaS business models, experts from Dworkz suggest focusing on a specific customer segment to create the best product for this niche. The point is that vertical SaaS solutions remove the issue of customization by offering superior functionality and customer behavior scenarios specific to a specific target audience. These are the so-called micro SaaS tools that startups create, such as add-ons, plug-ins, and extensions for existing SaaS giants. So, Boomerang made an email scheduling and tracking service for Gmail.
You can also develop SaaS products on order or for sale. In this niche, startups can enter the market with minimal investment but, most importantly, with minimal knowledge of software development. Medium and large businesses can afford such products for the rapid automation of business processes. So, ESK solutions developed a system for automating the operation of car fleets with the integration of Yandex.Taxi and Uber.
SaaS products result from the evolution of data streaming technology, which allows you to combine infinite users into global or local networks. It is also the result of the globalization of the economy and the digitalization of ordinary things. Given the peculiarities of SaaS technologies, this allows startups, even without programming knowledge, to build SaaS products. To achieve this, novice people in business only need to have a good understanding of business processes.
Composite SaaS product:
- Artificial intelligence, as well as elements of virtual and additional reality;
- Low Code/No Code;
- Cloud technologies;
- Data streaming technologies;
- The software as a service provider handles the integration.
Promising niches for SaaS products are sales, marketing, customer support, finance, HR, project management, and IT development. According to the experience of our partners from Dworkz, there is a strong demand in the SaaS market for systems that provide security, for example, in cyberspace (KnowBe4) and the field of secure password management. Another promising SaaS niche as micro-projects that can be multiplied is smart home infrastructure.
Imagine that all the elements of smart houses are digitalized – from the foundation to the windows and roof. For example, suppose all Internet Things are integrated into one local network, which responds to natural factors and unauthorized changes to objects at home (these do not fit into the user scenario). In that case, you can achieve maximum energy efficiency and home security. This is all about our SaaS future.