Indias path to SaaS leadership is clear but challenges remain

The future for India’s Path to SaaS leadership is clear but challenges remain. Challenges range from industry changes to business model changes. Challenges also come from internal factors like employee attrition, skill and talent gaps, lack of trust in SaaS models and so on. What should be the focus of SaaS organizations? How can we ensure that SaaS models deliver value to organizations? The following discussion highlights some of the key challenges SaaS organizations face.

Industry changes have reduced manufacturing footprint. There has been reduction in manufacturing related tasks like production planning, material management, order fulfillment, etc. The manufacturing workforce has shifted to low-cost countries. This means low productivity and greater inventory carrying costs.

SaaS has adopted an approach of giving value at low cost. This has reduced costs by leveraging resources such as staff, acquired IT expertise and automation equipment and other resources that are not immediately available in-house. The SaaS model has created a false sense of flexibility because the same software or services may be used internally as well as externally. At the end, what should we look for? What should be the fundamental characteristics of SaaS?

SaaS can be seen as the delivery model of the software. It provides the medium through which the service providers can deliver the solution. The model gives them a competitive advantage over the existing players by lowering their fixed costs and increasing revenues through better and faster return on investment. SaaS models can be used for any kind of business. It makes sense only if the SaaS solutions are coupled with an agile and dynamic business process oriented software. These two things have helped SaaS to emerge as the most powerful tool for business transformation.

Innovation has played an important role in SaaS development. Innovations like Visual Marketplace, Customer Management, Workflow Solutions etc have significantly contributed to the growth of SaaS and its global reach. All these innovations have led to SaaS leadership. The following characteristics of SaaS models have played a significant role in SaaS evolution:

– Creates an enormous opportunity and freedom to innovate. Since SaaS is open-ended there is no specific limitation on innovation. The SaaS solutions can be easily modified, upgraded, benchmarked to identify the performance of the SaaS model. This makes the SaaS an open standard. This also accelerates SaaS deployment since it reduces technical documentation requirements.

– Minimizes cost and risks. The SaaS can minimize the risk associated with storing, accessing and deploying applications and services on the hosted infrastructure. This eliminates the traditional security and scalability issues associated with software vendors. This SaaS model reduces business risks associated with IT costs and data integrity issues. It also reduces operational costs by replacing the traditional IT staff with Software as a Service (SaaS) trained professionals.

– Empowers Owners and Employees. Providing hosted SaaS services enables the companies to build a strong customer, employee and developer community. These services empower businesses to gain access to new innovative solutions, tools and techniques. As a result the SaaS models and the SaaS providers become mutually beneficial to both the vendor and the SaaS buyer. Thus SaaS becomes an important part of a business strategy and can form an important pillar in the Indian economy.

– Integrates seamlessly with existing systems. Since SaaS solutions are cloud-based and can run on any platform, they integrate with existing enterprise applications seamlessly. This helps to reduce the time required for deployment and integration of applications and SaaS solutions. SaaS solutions can easily integrate with other hosted SaaS applications such as CRM, ERP, manufacturing control software etc.

– Minimizes Operational Costs. Since hosted SaaS solutions run on any operating system, the operating costs are reduced significantly. This reduces SaaS deployment costs significantly and makes SaaS an affordable option. In India, the demand for SaaS solutions is increasing at a rapid pace due to various benefits it offers and the fact that the market for SaaS services in India has been growing at a very high rate.

In view of the above benefits SaaS is a perfect solution for enterprises in India, which are looking for cost-effective and flexible IT solutions. It also enables enterprises to adopt this technology without having to invest in the costly infrastructure required for a hosted system. In India, SaaS market is witnessing tremendous growth due to its unmatched benefits and easy implementation process. Many organizations are now realizing the benefits of hosted software and are opting for SaaS. SaaS vendors are also facing stiff competition in the Indian market and are introducing a host of new features and solutions. Therefore, the vendor pool is now flooding in India with hosted SaaS solutions.