The SaaS Evolution
Advancements in web-based SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions have provided nontechnical resources ways to design and develop efficient solutions for managing and delivering business needs. More users are choosing web-based software over the traditionally expensive and high maintenance on-premises alternatives. The following factors have played key roles in the expansion of SaaS offerings:
• The lucrative benefits of a multitenant business model make these opportunities appealing to business ventures. Resulting in more web-based services becoming available in the marketplace.
• Competitive low-cost subscription-based pricing.
• The broader customer reaches through user-centered design methodologies.
• User demand for accessibility.
Having worked in a variety of industries for organizations of varying sizes, from start-ups to over 50,000+ employees, I have seen SaaS solutions open the door for those who traditionally wouldn’t have the ability to tackle business ventures or have the ability to scale operations to support growth. Through SaaS, opportunistic hopefuls with little to no technical experience, have the ability to tackle an online business venture, develop new consumer product offerings, or expand existing operations with affordable and accessible tools or systems.
As these web-based services continue to build out user-centric solutions that focus on tools a broader audience can utilize, they will continue to be leaders of innovation and design for many different industries. For those who have considered opening a new real estate office, car dealership, or boutique, but haven’t had the capital or expertise in managing all components of a business, SaaS solutions can help make it a reality.
Auto dealerships, for example, can build their website, manage their inventory, customer acquisition and marketing, sales pipeline, vehicle paperwork, and compare their business analytics against other similar dealerships around the nation, all for $99 a month through Carsforsale.com’s dealer back office toolset. This holistic approach to providing business in a box that any non-tech-savvy person can use to get their auto dealership started, with little overhead costs, creates an easier point of entry into the marketplace.
Templated marketing collateral providers such as Canva, Venngage, and Design Wizard allow the non-designer an opportunity to produce creative materials without the high cost of working with an advertising agency. Anyone can now be a designer!
SaaS providers such as Smartsheet, allow the everyday person to build custom business processes and customer solutions without having technical know-how. This allows small businesses to run lean and depend on only a few resources who can wear many hats in their operations. The cost benefit of these online services is instrumental for small to medium sized companies that are competing with large organizations with huge IT departments running multi-million-dollar software solutions. Not to mention accessibility playing a key role in the demand for these solutions. In most cases, our traditional on-premises solutions require businesses to hire expensive experts to support business operations.
For these reasons, I believe one of the most influential advancements in web design and development is happening through the SaaS evolution. People not only see the web as a place to receive data and content but as a place with tools to build a business and/or assist with operational processes. I believe these solutions to be the drivers of our future economy and workforce.