In today’s tech times, where cloud and mobile technologies are predominantly taking the centerstage, Software as a Service (SaaS) has been mushrooming at an unprecedented speed. Researches have shown that in the days to come, more than half of the business software acquisitions will have to be Cloud or SaaS-based. The SaaS momentum can be attributed to a tight economy and the associated low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). So, this makes SaaS a zero upfront investment in IT infrastructure, which makes it more and more attractive in the long run.
However, as the saying goes, all clouds come with a silver lining. Let us see what the key challenges are that software vendors might face in their SaaS journey.
The SaaS as a model is promising as well as challenging at the same time. The challenge here is product evolution. Many times, the software vendors are not too keen to re-engineer their products, mostly because they continue to contribute to the bottom line. Therefore, their clients need core solutions evolved over the years if not decades. In most cases, aligning themselves to the growing needs of modern customers is indeed an uphill task for most vendors, and they usually take close to 1.5 to 3 years to re-engineer a package. This is indeed a long tenure in an era where cloud and mobile technologies have capabilities to change businesses overnight.
2. Building Customer Insight
The independent software vendors most often develop smart solutions based on their understanding of the growing industry needs. They most often lack access to customer usage patterns and so unable to come up with customer insights. This most often leaves them feature-focused rather than being business-focused. When it comes to SaaS universe, this handicap should not ideally exist. The software vendors usually have capabilities to track the usage patterns of customers and make rapid adjustments when it comes to products and services based on customer needs.
3. Customer Retention
In a SaaS delivery model, customer retention can be said to be the biggest challenge facing software vendors. And this happens more so because the customers don’t want to get locked in by the vendors. They seek quick solutions that can make it easy for them to switch products, and if need be, change providers. In such a situation, the most pressing question is, how can an independent software vendor retain customers? The only way out is to validate oneself by continuously improving the services and guaranteeing innovative measures are spelled out in terms of products and services.
4. Customer Experience
Independent software providers have always depended on the specific features of the product to attract clients. They work incessantly to improve client experience. In this regard, they need to maintain transparency so that the client is aware of what was used, how much, and at what cost.
In the SaaS model, the independent software vendors are keen to boost the customer experience every step of the way, because revenues are tied to the returning clients. After all, a customer’s experience can, in the long run, spell the difference between success and failure.