Choosing the right SaaS software developers
One of the most important recent trends in mobile software is the pivot to the “Software as a Service” model, or SaaS. The rise of applications like Salesforce, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Dropbox has transformed the entire landscape of the industry, upending the long-held methods of software distribution. No longer is enterprise software something you install from a disk and register once with a product key. One-time fees and volume key licenses are becoming a thing of the past. Instead, Every SAAS provider is looking to be a cloud-hosted solution to reduce integration timelines and make sign-up as effortless as possible.
When you’re in the business of serving hundreds of thousands of users and storing petabytes of data, you need to understand the kinds of software and hardware that support your service.
In this article, we’ll show you what SAAS is, the technologies that go into building a SAAS platform, and showcase some of the companies innovating in this space.
What are the critical technologies of SaaS?
Let’s start by exploring several of the critical technologies that allow SaaS providers to bring their services to the public, and how they implement them at scale to expand their base of customers.
SaaS providers are often tasked with tracking, maintaining, and securing their clients’ data. Even in applications where data is not the primary service offered by a company, they must still manage subscription records, mailing lists, and contact information. For these situations, databases serve as the backbone of a SaaS provider’s business model. Databases come in many shapes and sizes. Some are custom-tailored to a specific environment, while others are built broadly in order to maximize their usefulness across a wide variety of clients. Some of the most commonly used database languages are SQL, IBM DB2, Oracle, MySQL, and Microsoft Access. Databases don’t need to be something overly complex and mathematical.
Support and Help Desk Software
The operative term in SaaS is ‘service.’ Companies providing large-scale products, in addition to maintaining the core software, rolling out updates, and adding features, must support their clients. Most SaaS providers must provide a dedicated help desk system in order to handle user inquiries, service requests, and general troubleshooting. Rather than creating their own support system from scratch, most companies usually license dedicated middleware which is itself a SaaS product. While there are fees to use such software, the convenience and ease of use are usually worth it for the company. Popular help desk solutions include Zendesk and Team Support.
Why do companies use Software as a Service?
The Superior SaaS Distribution Model
How did the industry get to this point? A lot of it has to do with the fact that an active internet connection has become standard in virtually all businesses and organizations. Even the smallest business will likely require an online connection to for its day-to-day operations. Because of this fact, digital distribution has seen widespread adoption. Why install outdated software from a disc when you can download the newest edition directly from its developers? SaaS evolved from this model, and has pushed it forward drastically in some areas.
A Living Application
While some major SaaS applications still require a discrete installer for advanced functionality, like DropBox, Skype, or OneDrive, many others don’t require a dedicated application on a hard drive at all. Services like Google’s G Suite and Salesforce can run in a browser window alone. This drastically reduces the requirements of maintaining company computers and devices. All an employee needs is a device with an online connection and their product’s login credentials, and they’re able to use the application.
Advanced Data Backups and Security
Another critical aspect of SaaS applications is the fact that data is not stored locally on a business’s network. A company’s Salesforce profile, for instance, is stored on the developer’s servers, allowing for frequent backups and redundant copies in case of system failure. Again, this eases the strain on an organization’s IT department, as the heavy lifting has been outsourced to the cloud. Additionally, larger companies like Amazon, Google, and Intuit are able to afford commercial-grade security solutions for their customer data that would be well beyond the means of a small business or organization, increasing overall security.
The Evolution of SaaS
A Growing Market
As the SaaS market continues to grow, so too are the number of businesses that require it for their company to function. Instead of creating their own software from scratch, organizations large and small are looking for third-party solutions to their problems. The perks of back-ups, easy accessibility, and device independence are much more attractive than a one-off product designed only to solve a single problem. With the right industry knowledge, application concept, and programmers, the right idea at the right time can become a staple service that supports billion-dollar industries.
Many major companies rely on SaaS applications for their day-to-day operations. However, it pays to have a thorough understanding of how SaaS companies improve their apps with new features and services over time. The enterprise SaaS market has become extremely competitive. As a result, software development companies are trying to innovate their products to make them attractive to enterprise clients.
Salesforce AI Cloud Integration
The platform provides eight unique cloud products including Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Marketing Cloud. Leveraging acquisitions such as MetaMind, PredictionIO, and RelateIQ, the company announced its AI initiative, Salesforce Einstein, to deliver a personalized, smarter, and improved predictive customer model for their clients. AI integration helps Salesforce resolve customer service issues quickly and allows its clients to easily classify new use-cases on the basis of history and trends and provide recommendations on the fly.
With support for sophisticated machine learning technologies, Slack introduced a new search feature to its app enabling users to find appropriate channels and subject matter faster than traditional search. Slack users now receive automated reminders with the built-in Slackbot feature. Its new note-taking feature, Posts, allows team members to share and work together on items that are too big for single messages. The new threaded messaging feature allows team participants to make individual chat conversations that can be shared with group members. Furthermore, Slack users can now enjoy audio or video calls with up to 15 people without switching to other services like Skype or Google Hangouts.
Box Cloud Optimizations
The remote storage giant has made similar moves in bringing AI capabilities to its cloud content management services. The Google Cloud Vision API helps its customers to manage and gain insight from their image files, enabling enhanced search and discovery that can speed up image-centric processes and workflows. Its new document collaboration tool, Notes, makes it easy for customers to create meeting notes, share ideas, track status updates, and plan projects together. In partnership with IBM, Box has also developed Box Relay, allowing its clients to build, track and manage custom workflows in real-time. It helps teams get their work done faster, resulting in efficiency gains for clients.
SaaS Is the Future
This short survey of companies’ latest innovations for their products illustrates just how competitive the market has become. The SasS model is taking off in a big way, and those with the right idea and the right code can seriously impact this evolving market.
Developing Your Own SaaS Product
Now that you have a firm grasp of the technologies underpinning modern SaaS products, you understand the value of adaptable and experienced developers. Devising and planning the concept for a successful SaaS app is critical. But its implementation and engineering are what will help differentiate it from others. Our team of experienced hybrid and database developers will help ensure that your SaaS app is built to your exact specifications and that it will scale to your users’ needs. Get in touch with one of our account executives today and find out how we can help you utilize the software-as-a-service model to bring your app idea to market.