Has anyone asked you The Question yet this week? “What is SaaS?” It comes up often for anyone working in the industry. Do you have your SaaS basics answers at the ready? Here are three simple steps for explaining SaaS, all so clear and easy to grasp that anyone can understand.
Start with a SaaS Basics Definition
Start by telling your friend how to pronounce SaaS. It sounds like “sass,” not like “sauce!” Move on to explaining that the acronym SaaS stands for Software as a Service and providing a basic definition. Here are a few we like:
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a cloud-based software delivery model in which the cloud provider develops and maintains cloud application software, provides automatic software updates, and makes software available to its customers via the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis. The public cloud provider manages all the hardware and traditional software, including middleware, application software, and security. (Oracle)
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a popular business model in which a company delivers cloud-based applications via the internet to its clients. Customers can access the software or application via any internet-connected device like a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. (FounderJar)
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a delivery and licensing model in which software is accessed on the web via a subscription rather than installed on local computers. With SaaS, companies need not manage applications or invest in hardware to run their applications. Instead, a provider hosts and manages the infrastructure to support software, which enables updates and patches to be applied automatically and universally and reduces the burden on a company’s IT team. (Cisco)
But even those definitions might be a little too technical for civilians to grasp, so here’s a simple answer to share:
SaaS is a web-based, click-to-use platform in which all the work of creating, maintaining, and updating the software is done by a provider, like my company. All someone like you has to do is learn to use it.
Move on to Examples
Thanks to its low cost and ease of use, the adoption of SaaS has exploded in the past decade. Your friend may have heard of Google Classroom, so that might be a good place to start. First released in 2014, Google Classroom became ubiquitous during the pandemic and is now used in an overwhelming majority of US schools. Many of the phone trees that we encounter when calling for customer service are powered by SaaS. So are the chatbots we access online when an order from Amazon or another of our favorite shopping sites doesn’t arrive as expected.
Almost anyone with a job uses a SaaS product. Every industry has its own niche SaaS products. There are SaaS products to help manage any industry – options are available for everything from athletic training to zoo management – and some SaaS products aren’t niche at all. According to a recent survey, over 90% of American offices use at least one SaaS application, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down. More than 88% of Fortune 500 companies are using Salesforce to identify prospects, manage deals, and support customer service. Trello and ClickUp are popular tools for agile project management. Slack helps keep staff in regular communication, whether they are sharing office space, or working remotely across multiple time zones. Companies like Bay Leaf Digital provide marketing services exclusively to businesses operating in the SaaS space.
SaaS use is not limited to businesses and organizations; it has also become popular in American homes. SaaS applications can be used for personal tasks and activities, making everyday life easier and more efficient. The widespread availability and user-friendly nature of SaaS solutions make them accessible to a wide range of individuals, regardless of technical expertise. It’s likely that your friend is already benefiting from the widespread adoption of SaaS. They may use a SaaS-powered product for online shopping, family video conferencing, or managing their personal finances. SaaS has become so ubiquitous that there are even SaaS platforms that support operations at your local golf club or bowling alley.
Finally, Explain the Popularity of SaaS
By now, your friend understands SaaS basics – what SaaS is, how it’s used in business, and even how they’re already using it, but they might still be thinking, “Really, what’s the big deal?” Let’s help them understand why SaaS has become the dominant, go-to model.
The growth of SaaS has created a thriving industry, currently valued at $195 billion (Gartner), and with new startups offering their own products every day. The widespread use of SaaS is a testament to its effectiveness and versatility, and it is likely to play an even greater role in the business world in the years to come. Here are five reasons that businesses and individuals are turning to SaaS for solutions:
- Convenience: SaaS applications can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, eliminating the need for installation on individual devices.
- Cost-effectiveness: SaaS solutions typically have lower upfront costs and can be more affordable in the long run as there is no need for hardware or maintenance expenses.
- Regular updates: With SaaS, users have access to the latest versions and updates of the software without having to worry about installation or upgrades.
- Scalability: SaaS solutions can easily scale up or down as needed, making them suitable for businesses of all sizes.
- Improved collaboration: SaaS applications often have built-in collaboration features, enabling teams to work together more effectively, regardless of location.
What’s Next for SaaS?
In a word? More. The global consultants at McKinsey predict that the SaaS market will more than triple by 2030. Driven by previously unimaginable leaps in innovation including artificial intelligence and machine learning, SaaS will seep into every aspect of our lives and now is the time to get comfortable with this new technology.
Does your SaaS business need help clarifying its message and telling its story? The Bay Leaf Digital team is ready to lend a hand. Begin a conversation with us today.