Software as a Service is a rapidly growing field. As corporate offices are becoming more aware of the many possibilities afforded to them by subscription-based software, providers in all industry are entering the field and carving out their niche. In all, the SaaS market is expected to grow over 20 percent within the next two years, and is well on its way to a $50 billion industry - more than double the revenue just two years ago.
Naturally, it's easy to want a piece of that revenue pie. Whether you're a traditional business looking to enter the subscription-based space, or you have an entrepreneurial idea and plan that would just be perfect for an SaaS business model, you may be thinking about entering the SaaS industry. If that's the case, we can help! Here are 5 things to keep in mind for your potential software as a service development.
1) Know Your Audience
Entering the broad field of SaaS, you'll encounter an audience that is much more sophisticated and knowledgeable in its field than you might be used to. You are developing a software for experts in their field; marketing automation software, for instance, among the most popular types of SaaS, will be used primarily by marketers who are looking for and expecting very specific capabilities.
Why does that matter? Because it shapes how you develop your software from the start. Instead of flash, you need to provide substance that visibly helps your customers conduct their business. That's especially true because in the SaaS industry, you're not looking for a one-time sale. You are looking for long-term subscribers, who will only keep coming back to your software if you continue to offer them what they need. Above all, that means:
2) Architecture Matters
Trust us when we say this: exactly how you set up your software will make the difference between an intrigued audience and loyal subscribers. Your users, sophisticated as they are, expect your software to make their business life easier, so integrating your software with other business-related tools can be a huge bonus.
To stay with the marketing automation example above, integration with popular Customer Relationship Management software can be crucial. Of course, so is setting up a software that works reliably and accurately. Speaking of which:
3) Reporting is Crucial
Again, we keep coming back to the sophisticated nature of your audience. Instead of just being happy to use your software, they will expect measures and reporting capabilities that help them prove the worth of your software and their tactics to their constituents.
In most cases, software as a service is a significant investment, and an intricate reporting structure that shows the success and ROI of its capabilities can make the difference between loyal subscribers and one-time customers that jump off after their initial contract is over.
4) Multi-Platform Capabilities
We're not telling you anything new when we say that in a shifting digital landscape, simply developing your SaaS solution for desktop computers is no longer enough. Most of your competitors will conduct their business and provide their structure in the cloud, allowing subscribers access to the software's capabilities and reporting from anywhere in the world.
As a result, your software should run flawlessly on all devices. You may even think about a mobile app for iOS and/or Android, depending on your audience's preference, that provides additional capabilities without the need to open a mobile web browser. Again, your customers will be sophisticated business people who expect access at all times, regardless of device.
As you may imagine from the above paragraphs, developing software as a service solutions can be challenging. But it's also incredibly rewarding, as you're entering a field that continues to grow exponentially. To make sure your SaaS solution is up to par within your industry and the global marketplace, contact us! We'd love to help you enter the market and begin to gain subscribers.