Q. How has SaaS changed the way tech world operates over the years?
Amit Jain: Software as a service (SaaS) is an alternative to the standard software installation in the business environment. Unlike traditional model, the user here rather than paying for building the server, installing software and configuration, pays rental for the software being used. SaaS allows complex and enterprise class products/features affordable and accessible for all be it retail or SME consumers. Apart from this, IT departments in companies , big or small, are reducing in size as most SaaS services offer customer support as part of their offering. The SaaS related offering of pay what you use, reduces overall cost of ownership by reducing the resources when demand is less. Hence, when demand for the companies offering is low, the owner can choose for lesser options, paying less rent for using SaaS.
Q. What are the top trends driving the growth of SaaS adoption?
Amit Jain: Few of the top trend are:
- SaaS features: Affordability and accessibility to enterprise class products are the biggest driver for SaaS Adoption. SaaS eliminates the need to manage the hardware that supports it. The user remains free from maintenance, installation and updation processes. Moreover increasing technology solutions supporting SaaS architecture like SaaS ecommerce solutions are driving growth in the sector.
- Internet Connectivity: As per internetlivestats.com, total internet users in India are 462,124,989. Hence, easy accessibility to internet led to the growth.
- Growing Data Center Infrastructure i.e. growing demand of many things/features by many people.
- Emergence of mobile devices : Mobiles have limited storage space which has to deal with lot of data and lot of processing. A SaaS platform allows this without using memory space.
Q. What are the most successful SaaS pricing models?
Amit Jain: Fremium services i.e. Basic services are Free + you pay Premium for ad on features. Google Apps is the best example. Entry level Gmail account is free and you pay a monthly subscription if you want to access the business level features
Q. How big is the SaaS market in India? Is it eating up the market of traditional applications?
Amit Jain: We are at the cusp of a revolution when it comes to SaaS. With roll out of 4G, there will be a whole lot of applications that will become technically viable for delivery through the internet i.e. SaaS. Yes, most of the end user applications will move to SaaS beginning with productivity tools like word processors and spreadsheets (ex MS office) as well as specialized applications like accounting softwares. (ex. Quickbooks)
Q. What are the industries leading SaaS adoption in India and what are the new industries to watch out for in 2016?
Amit Jain: We are seeing services across the board being offered as SaaS. Beginning from basics like hosting (AWS, Google Cloud, MS Azure), office applications (MS Office 365, Google Apps) to more business specific applications like accounting (Quick books), ecommerce sites (Shopify, Purple Stores, Big Commerce) and lots more.
As the internet connections become faster, there shall be lot more content based applications (like image and video editing etc) across industries that shall be available in the coming days.
Q. What are the top five advantages a company gets by adopting SaaS model?
Amit Jain: These are:
- Helps convert capital cost to expense, allowing users to deploy funds in business instead of IT infrastructure
- Ability to quickly change technology solution as the business demands since no capital investment is stuck
- Reduced staffing cost as most SaaS services come with support who are experts in the area
- Access to latest updates and industry best practices
- Quick issue resolution as single downtime affects large number of users
About Amit Jain:
Amit Jain, founder Purple Stores (a DIY eCommerce Platform) is an engineer from IIT Delhi, MBA from SP Jain Mumbai and worked with Fortune five company for 8 years in operations, finance, and risk before taking the entrepreneurial plunge. He is a certified 6 sigma black belt and LEAN expert. Amit is also an active speaker and contributor in the e-commerce space in India.