If a person needs to move around a lot in comfort, it is logical to buy a car. But if trips are rare, paying for a cab or car sharing service is easier. In this case, the costs are limited to the service - moving from point A to point B. The need to make repairs, insurance, and gasoline prices are not part of the circle of concerns.
The same principle applies to software. SaaS in the IT environment can be compared to a cab or a car-sharing service: you need the service, pay for the subscription, and use it. If there is no longer a need for the service, the payments can be discontinued. So, SaaS is the rental of software. The method is excellent for companies that do not need high costs to develop their software.
What Is SaaS?
SaaS (software as a service) is a service model in which the subscriber receives online access to the necessary software but is not responsible for its installation, updating, and maintenance.
As a rule, SaaS is a cloud solution. In other words: computing facilities (software) are located on remote servers in the provider's area of responsibility, and the customer gets access to them via a browser, mobile application, or API after making a payment.
Key features of the SaaS model:
- It is used remotely.
- There is an opportunity for the collaborative work of several users within the system.
- Various payment models for access can be used: freemium, subscription, lifetime license, etc.
- Serviceability, upgrade, and maintenance activities are the sole responsibility of the SaaS provider.
Need an idea for building a SaaS Product? Here are a few blogs that can be your help.
SaaS services are a common phenomenon that many people encounter daily. The low financial entry threshold and versatility of the subscription model make them in demand in any market niche: from corporate accounting to personal photo processing.
The implementation of multi-purpose software in an enterprise is a lengthy process of several months. Using SaaS solutions eliminates the need to prepare the hardware, and the configuration of cloud software takes days. Everything that the service buyer needs is already installed, tested, and working. All he or she needs is a device connected to the network.
The bright examples of SaaS services that can serve the document sharing and study platform Studocu are highly popular all over the world among students, teachers, young professionals, and startup companies.
In the meantime, it’s worth mentioning that applying SaaS in an engineering class can enhance the learning method of the students. The process starts by matching the prioritized services with the selected cloud provider and then designing the web portal and letting the students try before giving the feedback.
Monetization Options For SaaS Owners
If you change your perspective and evaluate the potential of SaaS services from the owner's perspective rather than the user's, the model turns out to be just as effective.
Here are 5 ways to make money selling access to SaaS:
- Subscription. The customer pays for the service once a week, a month, or a year. For an expensive niche product, this is the best monetization model. CrazyEgg, Drip, and ConvertKit use subscription monetization options.
- Advertising. Heavy traffic of the service users increases the probability of earnings by selling related services and products. The main thing is to know your target audience. Evernote, Chargify, and Plerdy use this monetization option.
- One-time payment. Lifetime access to the SaaS can be sold only once but at a price higher than the subscription fee. Groove, Serpstat, and Zapier use the one-time payment for monetization.
- Freemium. The basic set of options is offered free of charge, and the features of the expanded package are sold for money - a subscription or a one-time payment. MailChimp, Dropbox, and Buffer use this monetization option.
For a SaaS to become famous, you need a good idea, a sufficiently large target audience, and competent developers. Now let's discuss the steps involved in creating a SaaS platform.
Cost is an essential feature when building a SaaS product. Here are a few guides to make your SaaS development effortless.
SaaS Service Development Process
The complexity and duration of SaaS platform development depend on the market segment (B2B/B2C), purpose, and the number of options planned to attract users. Here is the general scheme of SaaS platform development:
- The targeted audience and market analysis. No matter how powerful the idea may seem, before starting the realization, you need to conduct the analysis. You need to find out the target audience and its needs, identify the strong and weak points of the competitors and measure the scale of the market on which you are going to work.
- Setting goals. The information collected earlier should be systematized. If the initial idea has not lost its potential, outline the tasks and ways of solving them.
- Calculation of profitability. Here you make the final decision on the feasibility of the project and methods of its implementation.
- Creation of a UI prototype. Address the developers with a mockup, a scheme from which the logic and dynamics of interaction between users and the platform's structure are clear.
- Work on the architecture. Turning the prototype into a working model. Development of microservices, setting up the correct interaction between the individual modules.
- Appearance. Work on the platform design is conducted in parallel with programming. As a rule, several interface concepts are created before making a final decision.
- Testing. Checking the viability of the result, searching for bugs. To the SaaS platform, various scenarios and loads are applied to evaluate the stability of systems and components.
- Launch. Service is released to the market. The target audience's response to the appearance of a new product is valuable information. Pay special attention to it.
Work on the quality of the SaaS platform does not stop after the launch. Even if the metrics show that the product is well used by the target audience and has prospects, you should not stop at the current positions. Continuous development is the only way to stay in demand as long as possible. It includes introducing new options, working on subscriber engagement, and striving to outperform the competition.
SaaS services are a given of our time. They solve many problems, are financially affordable, are undemanding for hardware, and can be used wherever there is an Internet connection. However, developing SaaS solutions is a complicated process. It is impossible to evaluate and implement it without experience. Even out-of-the-box solutions, which promise a quick and inexpensive launch, require professional participation.