The Future of Software Is a Four Letter Word
There are many reasons the future of software is service-based.
THE JOURNEY FROM ISV TO ASP TO SAAS…continued!
One of the most tempting things about SaaS is that it generates recurring revenues, As long as you deliver a valuable product and avoid customer churn, you build a “war chest” of future revenues that increases the value of the company. You don’t have to re-sell customers every purchase cycle. Clients aren’t depreciating your license over time.
Because the SaaS provider runs the application for its users, both the provider and the customer have a record of what happened. Spurious claims by customers drop, because customer activity is logged. Done right, SaaS creates a culture of accountability, and means you’re escalating the right problems rather than just oiling the squeakiest wheels. You’re improving the functions people use, instead of the ones they say they are. And you’re anticipating problems before they turn into disasters.
SaaS providers do a better job of supporting customers. As we’ve seen, support is already far easier the fact that everyone is on the same build makes a huge difference, because the provider isn’t maintaining several code bases or waiting for a patch to be applied to a legacy build of the software. But having a single version of code makes troubleshooting easier, because there’s no need to discover what version of code the use is using.
It’s also easier to reproduce problems when you’re running the application stack. You have the log files; you can test your fixes on the same version that the customer is using. Well-designed SaaS applications log errors, and a customer complaint can be tied to a user session. When a user hits the “support” button, the user’s session can be tagged for analysis. What’s more, a number of analytical tools allow in-app chat, screen sharing, and realtime support, allowing the provider to more quickly tackle problems.