Evolution of SaaS

Software as a Service (SaaS) is by far the most common use of the cloud. Everyone over the Internet uses SaaS all the time, no matter where they stand with the IT knowledge. SaaS is the ultimate part of service when we define cloud services.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)- In this category, physical infrastructure like CPU, Storage, GPU, etc are provided as services. With this, the consumer doesn't have to worry about the hardware aspect of the cloud and we can still manage the operating systems and also apply updates and patches. This is not physical hardware anymore; it saves on electricity consumption, manpower, and bulk investment. It helps in scaling outputs simultaneously as the demand boots.

PaaS (Platform as a Service)- It is principally integrated for developers. It provides the development framework that helps build, deploy, maintain, and manage services at every step of the development lifecycle. On top of that, developers don’t have to worry about the hardware. They also no longer have to manage the operating systems or the updates. With this service, developers can solely focus on the thing which they do best, i.e. - Writing Codes.

SaaS (Software as a Service)- The most important and valuable service offered by the cloud is SaaS. It is the fusion of advanced technologies like Data Centers, Security Firewalls, And Operating systems, etc. These services work in tandem, which provides a suitable environment for the hosted application to work appositely. These hosted applications are the services offered to clients, businesses to manage, optimize their organization.

With SaaS, we can just connect to and use a cloud-based application over the Internet because service providers manage all the complex aspects ranging from Data Centers to Developer Tools. We, as users, only have to focus on using the software. A huge use case is email accounts, for example- Gmail, Office 365, etc.

  • Gmail- We are connected to the email by the web browser. The entire service is hosted by Google, in this case, the cloud service provider. On the other hand, we only focus on using it. We don’t develop it, we don’t maintain the infrastructure, but we just use it.
  • Office 365- Microsoft’s cloud-based email service is designed to cater to businesses. Enterprises use Microsoft email exchange and Outlook web apps, which are simply linked to Office 365. It pushes everything to the cloud and from there; businesses are able to enjoy the services. This service is not limited to emails. SaaS has storage like Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive, which are Cloud-based options for storage.
  • There are also some very specific apps that we might need for businesses. Salesforce, Cisco WebEx, etc. For collaborating, there is Slack, which is a cloud-based application that businesses use to chat with employees.

    Why would a business need SaaS?

    Businesses need Software as a Service because it is blazing fast. For example, if we need to run the system right now, it will just be up and running in milliseconds. Software as a Service is paid per user on a subscription basis. It is to be paid as long as the user is associated with the company. As soon as the user leaves, the company no longer has to pay for that particular service. With this, enterprises also get access to sophisticated applications; otherwise, they have to pay to develop. But this way, they offer services as a cloud service provider. For example, CRM, IVR, Data Analysis, Tabulation representation, etc. For these, they don’t have to pay for building such applications or invest in hosting and maintenance. SaaS is a service where enterprises or small businesses can just rent applications or subscribe to them. Therefore, it exponentially saves costs and efficiently works for businesses.

    The most significant use of SaaS is that it can be accessed from anywhere. SaaS works in the cloud, which provides services at a very fast pace. Earlier, there used to be a server room connected to a leased line. There were multiple computers and storage devices to manage the workload with additional overhead electricity costing. As the service moved to the cloud, the enterprises are saving the bulk of their investments, time, Manned workforce, and energy. On the cloud, everything works efficiently and with updated technology which saves enterprises from being vulnerable to spyware attacks.

    Evolution of SaaS in India

    In India, the evolution of SaaS happened in the years 2012 to 2014. It is the time when Indian businesses realized how their competitors are leveraging SaaS and optimizing the scale.

    The scope of any service depends on where we live. The South-East Asian countries and the South American countries are still trying to catch up with the adaptation of SaaS. They will take their own sweet time because there are government regulations and the frameworks are not in place, so what a person may start in another country is not possible in these countries.

    For example, in 2008-09, a business couldn’t start a payment gateway company in India. Because they couldn’t apply for payment gateways, it used to take three months to get a "Yes" or "No" in reply. But today the approval can be taken in 24 hours. So if someone wants to build a Fintech company in India or if they want to build a multimillion-dollar SaaS business, it is possible. Because the market is ready, there is access and legal frameworks which will facilitate them and the business will not become anti-government or anti-economy.

    In India, SaaS as a concept didn’t exist in 2008. The mindset was "Software is going to do my job, not people. HOLD ON, I can get that done, if someone else is going to do my job it has to do it for free". So the acceptance plays a crucial role because to say "The software is going to do the job better than a person is impossible in the context of 2008".

    If we reflect today or in the timeframe of 2012, 2013, or 2014, when the market started exploding, people realized that their competitors, their counterparts in other countries are doing extremely well. Businesses here in India are beginning to shift towards software solutions. They started imploring SaaS, as in Task Management, Collaboration with people, Accounting, Automated messaging to consumers, etc. So the problems they had with the software in 2008 and the willingness to put people to solve every problem changed drastically as they looked into the world. Enterprises have started to think about increasing productivity, efficiency and making a mixture so that revenue can be generated, growth can be increased while minimizing errors. The mindset about SaaS in India has taken a huge turn from non-existent to a 100x acceptance level.

    SaaS is the future of India because it is going to drive such a large population and also the internal network. The internal network has a role to play between states within people and the departments. It cannot be done in chaos; it has to be simplified in the backend or somewhere else where people may solve problems by deploying software. India is witnessing the SaaS revolution and this is the perfect time to polish up the skills in this field.