How SaaS applications are gaining trust with customers during COVID-19

With the pandemic compelling businesses to operate on severely constrained budgets, SaaS has helped companies align their operations to the new reality by reducing operational expenses, optimising productivity, increasing flexibility and mitigating risks.
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Pre-COVID, SaaS (software as a service) businesses were expected to grow by a remarkable 23 percent per year over this decade. The rise of SaaS is in large part due to flexibility it offers to business owners in terms of scale and functionality.

Other digital industries face immense challenges and questions about long-term sustainability due to COVID. SaaS businesses, though, are unique in their degree of resilience, registering growth even in the midst of the pandemic. In this article, we will be looking at ways that SaaS applications are gaining the trust of existing and new customers during COVID.

Enabling budget flexibility and lean operations

Businesses across the country are looking for ways to consolidate their expenses. COVID has impacted the bottom lines of businesses, meaning that this quarter and the next, budgets will likely be far smaller than usual. Over 70 percent of all Indian businesses are dealing with reduced cash flow. Despite budgetary constraints, continuity is a must. Businesses need a way to continue offering their services to clients. This is where SaaS solutions come into the picture.

SaaS offers businesses scalability and flexibility, both in terms of budget outlays and output. When businesses invest in conventional software licenses and hardware, there’s always the risk that future revenue won’t be enough to offset operating costs and the initial cost of investment.

As a pay-as-you-go alternative, SaaS significantly mitigates risk and allows businesses to scale their expenses to closely align with fluctuation in sales and revenue growth.

Greater SaaS flexibility has also seen clients focus more on lean production. Efficient, scalable SaaS solutions help businesses match their opex to demand, minimising expenses and saving liquidity at a time when cash on hand is critical.

Optimising remote productivity

COVID and the ensuing lockdowns have transformed workforce across the country into digital, remote teams. While work-from-home has enabled continuity for key business processes, inefficient approaches, unreliable connectivity and poor local hardware mean that workers end up spending more time to do the same amount of work, leading to burnout.

SaaS solutions help businesses boost productivity per remote worker. Remote access solutions are particularly relevant here: by leveraging the power of the cloud, workers can do far more than what’s possible on relatively constrained local hardware.

This leads to greater morale and higher productivity. It also means that businesses can continue to offer the same level of service to their clients, even when relying on a fully WFH workforce.

Refocusing on product development, not operations

SaaS takes the pain out of operations, both in terms of cost and process efficiency. This has had an interesting knock-on effect on the priorities of many small and medium businesses.

Rather than focusing on operational improvements with minimal ROI, we see SaaS clients increasingly shifting their focus to product development.

By streamlining operations and rationalising opex, clients have gained the ability to focus on core research and development, improving product capabilities, identifying opportunities for cost reduction, and actively pushing the business forward.

SaaS: helping business stay afloat in a new reality

At this point, it’s clichéd to say that COVID has fundamentally changed the business environment. What’s more relevant is to assess how businesses have responded to this change and what approaches work best in terms of long-term sustainability.

By reducing operational expenditure, increasing flexibility and mitigating operational risks, SaaS solutions are helping today’s businesses stay afloat by making smarter use of the resources they have on hand. We expect the role of SaaS to broaden in the months and years to come. These efficiency gains don’t just matter in the context of COVID; they are the future of operations on the whole.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)