The majority of startups fail. That’s the cold, hard truth. They struggle because of a common set of reasons, often involving failure in leadership and decision-making. The percentages that thrive are driven by passion, commitment, and knowledge. They adjust and observe, looking for ways to work smarter and harder. These have increased their chances of surviving the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
One such solution is IT infrastructure, which has been lauded as the key to startup success. Enterprise applications and digital apps have transformed how businesses run by streamlining different processes for exponential growth. But buying and building your own IT infrastructure requires time and money, which few startups have.
Enter SaaS, a technology stack that has gained serious traction among startups. It isn’t just another meaningless business acronym or buzzword. Software-as-a-Service or SaaS is a step away from traditional IT deployment. You no longer need an IT department to build, install, configure, and maintain your applications. This cost-effective alternative offers usage-based subscriptions to computer applications hosted remotely on the cloud. You can access the software over the internet through a monthly or yearly plan.
In 2008, only 12% of companies used cloud-based applications. But this 2020, 61% of businesses consider migrating to the cloud a top priority. More and more organizations are seeing growth in the cloud computing market. And SaaS is at the forefront of that, with an average of 16 SaaS apps used in business operations daily.
Is your team using DirectLync for digital marketing? Do you store important documents on Dropbox? Does your company use Google Workspace to collaborate? Are you using ServiceNow Portfolio Management to track projects and workflows? These are examples of SaaS! You didn’t need an IT department or an in-house server to use these either. It only requires a subscription and an internet connection, which considerably lessens the costs and hassle.
Here are other reasons businesses are taking the leap with SaaS
Fewer Costs, Fewer Risks
Setting up an IT infrastructure for your business will need a huge initial investment, which makes it difficult for startups because of budget constraints. Not having one isn’t a great option either, as competitors with enterprise applications will have an advantage over you in terms of productivity. Thanks to the subscription-based model of SaaS, startups need not pay large upfront fees for the software. They also don’t have to spend on expensive hardware to use the apps.
Aside from enjoying a much more manageable operating expenditure, startups can also take advantage of the 30-day free trials that most SaaS vendors offer. This way, businesses can test the app to see if it suits their needs without accruing any costs, something you cannot do with hardware solutions.
Increased Efficiency Through Innovation
SaaS provides access to core business applications anywhere and anytime through an internet-powered device and a web browser. With how easy to use and accessible these apps are, SaaS can drive productivity in organizations by taking care of tasks that used to need more time and workforce. Thus, your resources are maximized so you can focus on other areas of growth.
There will be no additional workload on the startup’s side since SaaS vendors have their own dedicated teams for application development and customer service. Increasing the number of your users or getting additional services can be done within the day, so work isn’t held up.
Easier Integration and Quick Deployment
Software requires lengthy periods of time spent on development, testing, installation and waiting. With SaaS, the apps are ready to use as soon as you pay. As mentioned earlier, scaling up is also easy because you will only need to change your subscription.
Using it with existing tools isn’t difficult either. Most SaaS providers have integrations for already available third-party software such as email clients and other business systems. A few years back, introducing a new software would have clashed with the programs you were used to. But now, the process is hassle-free thanks to application programming interfaces and web service protocols.
The Downside of SaaS
But like all things, SaaS isn’t perfect. Despite security functionalities put in place, users are still worried about how providers handle their data. Customization is another area that SaaS might not perform well in, as most vendors package their software as a one-size-fits-all solution. There is also a problem with lack of control since customers do not get to decide what updates they will deploy.
In the end, the decision lies with the startup. Do the pros outweigh the cons? Does it suit the needs of the startup? Regardless of the answers, startup owners need to remember that the business world is always evolving. New possibilities open up each day, and if they want to survive, they need to adapt.