The Ultimate Guide to Software as a Service (SaaS)

May 20, 2022
5 min read

What is Software as a Service (SaaS)?

SaaS (Software as a Service) is a software distribution model that allows clients to access applications via the Internet without physical media or custom installations. Updates are automatic and instant because the software is hosted and maintained remotely by the supplier. SaaS solutions don't require any downloads, and you may access them via web and mobile browsers.

What is SaaS in Cloud Computing?

SaaS, often known as cloud application services, is the most widely used choice. It uses the Internet to distribute programs to users that a third-party vendor controls. Most SaaS services run immediately in your web browser, so no client-side downloads or installations are required.

The Top 10 Best SaaS Applications

1. Hubspot
Hubspot is marketing, CRM, and sales platform. It was started in 2005 and remained one of the world's most popular SaaS companies.
HubSpot develops tools for sales, marketing, and customer service. The free CRM, which includes email monitoring, potential customer tracking, meeting scheduling, and real-time chat, is the most popular offering.

2. Salesforce
Salesforce, the world's most popular CRM, is utilized by businesses large and small across a wide range of industries. By 2023, Salesforce is expected to reach an ARR of $26 billion. Salesforce offers a range of products, such as Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Commerce Cloud.

3. Slack
Slack is the world's most popular collaboration platform, combining well-organized chat channels, file sharing, and other features to facilitate online communication between enterprises and communities.
Slack offers different products for remote work, distance learning, engineering, financial services, sales, IT, marketing, support, human resources, project management, and media.

4. Adobe
Adobe offers commercial and consumer SaaS applications, with Experience Cloud, Creative Cloud, and Marketing Cloud merging many of its offerings. This business is an excellent example of properly shifting from traditional software to SaaS. Adobe is currently valued at 95 billion USD in the United States.

5. Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services provides scalable cloud computing services. As a result, many SaaS companies build their products in the AWS cloud, making them top companies.

6. Shopify
As the world's largest e-commerce SaaS platform, Shopify is used by startups, small businesses, and multi-billion dollar brands like Kylie Cosmetics.

7. MailChimp
MailChimp was originally an email marketing software, but it has now been developed to include several other functions, such as creating and managing print and digital marketing activities.

8. Hootsuite
With a $150 million ARR, Hootsuite is the world's most popular social media scheduling and management SaaS.

9. Square
Square is one of the world's top payment processors and is classified as SaaS due to the numerous solutions to business owners, such as payroll, invoice, online store payment, and check station payment.
Square is predicted to increase its revenue by around 80% annually by the end of 2021, which is substantially quicker than its previous growth rate of around 40% year-over-year for the past five years.

10. Splunk
Splunk, one of the top five listed companies, is an IT, security, Internet of Things, and business analytics platform that assists businesses in making better use of their data.

Key Characteristics

There are several methods for determining the key characteristics of the SaaS model, including:

Multitenant Architecture
All customers and applications form a single architecture, and software is centrally managed in a multitenant architecture. Because all SaaS vendor clients use the same infrastructure and code base, vendors may innovate faster and save development time by maintaining several old code versions.

Customization is Simple
Each user has the flexibility to change applications quickly to meet their business needs without endangering the shared infrastructure. Furthermore, these customizations are specific to each firm or user, and they are always carried over from upgrade to update. As a result, SaaS companies may change their products more regularly, putting their consumers at less risk and lowering adoption costs.

Improved Accessibility
Data access from any networked device, improved privilege control, data usage monitoring, and ensuring that everyone sees the same information simultaneously are all improvements.

SaaS Harnesses the Consumer Web
The Web interface of conventional SaaS applications is familiar to anyone who has used Amazon.com or My Yahoo! With the SaaS approach, you can customize it in a matter of clicks, making the weeks or months it takes to upgrade traditional business software seem hopelessly ol

Trends in SaaS
Organizations are now creating SaaS integration platforms (or SIPs) to enable the development of new SaaS applications. According to consultancy firm Saugatuck Technology, the "third wave" in software adoption is happening. SaaS becomes a platform for mission-critical applications when it goes beyond standalone program capabilities.

What Are the Advantages of Using SaaS Production?

Flexibility

Companies are constantly evolving, altering rules, and pivoting campaigns, and they want services that can stay up. SaaS tools provide the flexibility to swiftly add new services or identify new business solutions to achieve overall development.

Scalability

When businesses wish to add new features, enhance existing functions, or manage large user requests, they frequently have to build and deploy new features. However, SaaS services allow marketers to adjust their subscriptions to achieve these benefits.

Customizability

Because of developing technologies, many SaaS solutions are reasonably straightforward to customize for your business. Customizable features include updated data fields, customized user journeys, and UI interfaces.

Cost-Effectiveness

Overall, top SaaS businesses offer great channels and dependable support at a reasonable price. In addition, with the use of SaaS, companies no longer need in-house expertise to administer these platforms and services. Instead, everything is automated by the company, which has a team of experts in charge of the results.

Remote Working

Manufacturers can engage specialists from all over the world because of how SaaS solutions are supplied. In addition, SaaS solutions give a new degree of accessibility and mobility, allowing your employees to work from anywhere. They can access the dashboard and do tasks from anywhere globally as long as they have internet connectivity.

What Are the Difficulties of SaaS Technology?

  • Integration Issues

Insufficient integration may result in issues such as accounting or sales data not syncing with the CRM. In addition, things can go wrong if data isn't updated effectively across all systems because users continually make changes and upload files to separate systems. For example, billing issues may occur, and the system may begin sending invoices to the wrong people.

  • Integration cost

Integration involves the participation of highly qualified individuals who are not always present on every IT team. Because SaaS integration prices can be relatively high, increasing the installation cost. As a result, businesses may need to hire external personnel, such as a company specializing in integration as a service. Choosing a solution that connects effortlessly with all of a company's systems and, preferably, has an open API is the simplest method to cut integration costs.

  • Access Control

Access control is another difficulty that businesses face when shifting to the cloud. Traditional software settings for monitoring and access control may not always translate well to a SaaS solution. Although administrators must have complete control over who has access to what, they may be unaware of who has access at times, especially during the transition period.

  • Time Constraints

It might take time to migrate from on-premises to the cloud, which can impact corporate operations and, ultimately, income. In addition, businesses transitioning to the cloud are frequently pressed for time to get their apps and services up and running. As a result, businesses must prepare ahead to avoid service outages because work is delayed.

  • Hyper-specialization

Even though many SaaS vendors claim to deliver all-in-one solutions, most SaaS solutions excel in only one or two areas. As a result, companies are frequently required to deploy multiple solutions to meet various objectives, resulting in hyper-specialization (related to saturation). Furthermore, because integration abilities can help organizations bridge the gap between various systems, companies must ensure that the solutions they plan to deploy are compatible.