There is no denying the wealth of opportunities that SaaS can deliver. Over the past few years a number of businesses, ISVs in particular, have recognised that potential and have started the journey towards adopting a SaaS approach.
Of course nothing worth doing is easy — as many are discovering. This shift involves so much more than just moving from selling an application to selling a service. In addition to the significant changes to technology there are a number of cultural, operational and staff transformations that must be considered and managed.
So you’ve made the decision and are in the midst of modifying your organisation, or you’re well underway. Are you successful? Is the road ahead clear? Do you know what your objectives are? The odds are that you may have answered ‘no’ to at least one of these questions. Not to worry, though. You are not alone.
Take a look at these six priorities for ensuring SaaS success.
Drive Revenue Growth
It seems like a no-brainer. The aim of every business is to increase revenue. However, in this highly competitive market you’ve got to consider doing things you’ve never done before in order to achieve this. Top of the list is the ability to address a wider target audience. Your product portfolio has changed so it stands to reason your potential customers need to change as well — whether that means different target markets, new regions or unchartered segments.
Quality of Service Delivery
Maintaining the quality of your service is critical and you have to evolve your offering based on your new SaaS-focused solutions. Not meeting the expectations of customers affects your brand and your bottom line. Now, as a SaaS provider you need to focus on performance, availability and support, because disruption and downtime need to be kept to an absolute minimum.
Manage Cash Flow
Your customers have changed the ways in which they pay you — OPEX-based pricing and ‘per user’ charging have an effect on your cash flow. Consider better managing and de-risking your cash flow by looking at the smarter commercial models that hosting service providers are now offering. You want predictable costs that you can readily explain to customers and even use as a selling point.
Ensuring Compliance, Data Security and Privacy
As a SaaS provider, you’re taking on more of the responsibility and the subsequent risk, when it comes to helping customers ensure data security, privacy and regulatory compliance. So you need to consider aspects like where data is being held, what layers of security are in place and what certifications and best practices will solidify your offering to your customers.
Strengthen Your Business Value
In the move to making SaaS work there is the danger that you’ll focus too much on your legacy technology infrastructure and neglect your core business. What do you do? Rely on a trusted partner, one that has the right platform, scalability and the levels of service to support your offering, thus ensuring you have the essential time required to develop and innovate your service offering and customer experience.
Harness the Power of Big Data and Business Intelligence
In the drive for success using business intelligence and analytics can help optimise your service offering and unlock a number of new revenue streams. The right data can help you get closer to your customer, understand their requirements better and ultimately improve their experience.
Onwards to SaaS success
The key thing here is that you shouldn’t be doing this alone. And as mentioned, that’s where trusted partners and relationships with cloud service providers come in. In our next blog we’ll be looking at the importance of choosing the right people to work with and the partner relationship.