A while back, I sat down to write my take on SaaS vs. traditional software. It’s my profound belief that companies still using traditional software are at a disadvantage when compared to companies that have switched over to cloud-based solutions.
I won’t go into too much detail but just to recap; these are some of the comparative advantages that companies using SaaS have over companies who stick to the old methods:
- SaaS licensing costs 3 times less than traditional software licensing, on average. At times, depending on the software in question, the costs can go down to a tiny fraction of what businesses in the past were paying.
- HR cost associated with maintaining a costly system is also reduced. Setups, upgrades, and maintenance of SaaS systems are the responsibility of the vendor, not the buyer.
- Security is even less of an issue with SaaS. It’s more likely that your data will get stolen from your in-house solution then from the cloud. The cloud is not bulletproof but it’s pretty near to that.
For me, choosing SaaS over traditional software is a no brainer. In a world in which business survival in part depends on specialization, it would be ridiculous to pay employees to crunch numbers or perform some actions that do not serve your core business in some way.
But that post got me thinking. It’s indisputable that SaaS has been a boon to companies around the world by making some mundane (and otherwise complicated) task extremely efficient. But what else did SaaS bring to the table? And where is it all going next?
SaaS Disrupting Industries
SaaS has fundamentally changed some industries – for the better in my opinion. The disruptive nature of SaaS is best observed through several examples. These definitely abound so I’ll refrain from mentioning everything that comes to mind and stick to companies that everyone is pretty much familiar with.
Twilio – Let’s start with something controversial. SaaS purists will argue that I’m opening this list with a PaaS company. On the other hands, some of them might even argue that it’s IaaS. In my opinion, the jury is still out on that one. What no one can argue with is that Twilio changed the telecom industry profoundly. Every time you get a text from AirBnB confirming your reservation it’s coming with greetings from Twilio. Same goes for your Uber confirmation and Viber authentication and a whole bunch of other things. Even Coca-Cola uses it to drive customer experience through the roof!
Zendesk – Customer service was never the same again after Zendesk. This cloud-based helpdesk tool completely reshaped the way we connect and interact with customers, allowing companies to respond faster and better every single time and significantly impacting customer satisfaction.
DoubleClick – You might not be overly familiar with this one, especially if you’re not into marketing but DoubleClick is the granddaddy of online advertising networks. It was since purchased by Google and now goes by the name DoubleClick by Google. Suffice it to say that it single-handedly virtually eliminated the need for media buyers and media sellers as professions. DoubleClick enables companies to buy and sell advertising space through a complex system that basically runs everything for everyone involved once it’s set up.
Duetto – Duetto is a pretty impressive SaaS service that hotels use to automate their pricing across various channels based on weather, events, and more. It works like a charm and there is no need for human oversight – rooms are always sold for a highest possible price based on a number of ever-changing variables.
SaaS Boosting the API Ecosystem
Duetto is the perfect example of this. It checks tons of data and then makes the best possible pricing decisions for hotels. It does all that because it integrates so well with other apps.
But I might be getting ahead of myself here: API stands for Application Programming Interface – it’s essentially how programs and applications communicate amongst themselves.
It makes the entire process much simpler and confusion-free and it’s how Duetto is able to score great results and help hotels around the world have competitive and flexible pricing on an hour to hour basis.
What does SaaS have to do with it?
Everything, basically. SaaS solutions drive integration – they have to communicate with other applications and programs on a regular basis to produce good and measurable results. Sometimes they have to integrate so you actually can measure the results.
New API integrations are needed on a daily basis and that is a good thing – it allows us to streamline processes and make better business decisions like in the case of Duetto.
Software With A Service
Or as it’s popularly dubbed the ‘do it for me’ software. As you can see, the term ‘Software with a service’ has little to do with actual customer support – although we are proud of ours here at Xpenditure. It has to do with businesses being burdened with too many DIY software options today.
When Salesforce rolled out 15 years ago their tagline was ‘No Software’, implying that businesses were fed up with micromanaging details of their operation, especially the ones they weren’t experts in. And SaaS was born.
Today, there is too much software and even though it’s easier to handle SaaS in terms of manpower and cost, most businesses want – actually need! – things to be taken from their plate.
This is especially true for SMB’s which are still flying under the radar here. They need a myriad of complex services such as accounting, scheduling, payroll and more and their managers have neither the time nor the wish to grapple with another complex tool.
They are happy to pay more to a company that will sell them a SaaS product paired with a capable manager who is going to handle it. For B2B SaaS industry, this is the only imaginable step forward.