If there is going to be a buzzword of the decade, it would be the 'Startups.' Start-ups now govern the entire ecosystem around us. Be it food, taxi, travel, education- you name it. India comes up with around 900 start-ups every year. Have you ever wondered where does the infrastructure for all these new companies come? Where do they store the information, run their products, or perform the transaction?
Let’s see what are the ingredients to a successful application. It needs infrastructure- the storage, the servers, and the physical logistics that could connect you that. Second is the platform- the operating system, and other tools that facilitate your work. The third is your application that lies upon these facilities.
Here comes the SaaS- Software as a Service. It provides you the complete package consisting of everything mentioned above. It would provide you with storage facilities, the networking, the tools, and the connectivity. The only thing now left for you is to create your application over it and launch. All you need is the power of the 'Cloud.'
What is the Cloud?
If the first buzzword were Start-up, the second of the decade would be the 'Cloud.' However, not many know how what exactly means by the Cloud. In easy words, all your storage, network, and stuff are there stored at someplace on earth. All you have to do is connect to that Cloud through the internet. Once you connect to it, all the stuff you need to launch your own website or app, are on your computer.
How it influenced the SaaS?
Cloud technology revolutionized the business. You are provided with everything you need. All you have to do is just pay for the service. Cloud reduced the costs of having separate physical infrastructure and logistics over which earlier companies worked. This reduced the cost of software or application by manifolds. You now only have to bear the cost of development and maintenance of your application.
The Business of the SaaS
SaaS companies rose to the boom in the past many years. They were handy for the start-ups. A company willing to use the service can pay. Most models are pay-per-service or even tailor-made. For example, you own a start-up; you choose to go for 100 GB storage because you will not have enough customers from day 1. Now, after a year, your start-up is popular, and now you need to scale-up. The process is simple. Choose the higher package that provides with 500GB storage and better bandwidth. You will have to pay a little more, but all your features can now seamlessly upgrade. Choosing a SaaS today is more accessible than buying an internet plan nowadays.
Indian start-ups welcomed it whole-heartedly. You can now open a company in an apartment. This was not possible 20 years ago. Even with smaller capital with Indian entrepreneurs, they were able to manage. They now invested in acquiring good developers and evolving customer services. The time, energy, and money were saved, and it would be put to better use.
Not just start-ups, many established companies started moving to SaaS/ cloud-based model. Most of the business worldwide chose to shift to websites or apps rather than installable Softwares (one might remember putting CDs in the computer to install. Now it all works on the internet).
It helped in creating subscription based-model where customers will have to keep paying for your product, unlike the old era where they were the owners once they get the CD. It incentivized the companies to keep updating their features
In addition, the CD could be copied (pirated). This led to losses to software companies. Fortunately, now, products are on the internet, and one has to pay for usage.
Further, it reduced the cost for customers because you may now use the service of these web applications and leave. You do not have to buy the software CD for just one-time use. This was not possible before the SaaS.
The Final Word
Cloud is here to stay. However, using the Cloud sounds easy, but it is not. A lot of effort is still needed to create and maintain the stuff over the Cloud. Cloud needs to keep improving its features and it is good they are working on it.
Big IT Giants have invested in this new business. Salesforce, Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Zendesk are only a few to be named.
Indian start-up dream of Ola, PayTM, Dream11, or any other would-be a utopia without SaaS. Its scalability and features have lured even the companies who could afford to have their own logistics.
When the Indian start-up growth story is written, it will be the harvest from the clouds.