It has long been impossible to imagine our everyday working lives without them. And if we look at the platforms for organizing leisure time, these also use mechanisms from software as a service (SaaS) providers. The business model is highly attractive and a favorite with investors. But how do you find suitable solutions – and what are the pitfalls?
Which Service would you like?
Software as a Service (SaaS)
The provider makes all the necessary functions available on its cloud infrastructure. Users only need to register, pay and get started.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
YouTube is probably the best-known representative from this area, even if the pricing model differs from others. Users are provided with a technical framework, but as creators they have to invest time and money in producing the content themselves in order to benefit from the platform.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
It is often difficult to draw a clear line here. In most cases, SaaS, PaaS and IaaS merge seamlessly, or solutions from all areas are linked together to enable the desired digital processes. Strictly speaking, IaaS solutions only offer the pure cloud infrastructure, so that this no longer lies with the actual company.
xyz as a Service
Based on the logic of SaaS business models, there are no limits to the imagination. The use of new technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality or quantum computing is automatically thought of by developers as a service.
For the sake of simplicity, I will not go into all the details again in the text, but will always refer to SaaS.
1.The Subscription Trap
Anyone who has ever paid for a gym membership without actually going regularly understands the basic monetary consideration of SaaS. The customer relationship often starts with a free trial phase (freemium), then comes the hint of a discount promotion, then there is the additional special offer with annual instead of monthly prepayment, and if you forget to cancel or don’t find the corresponding button, you pay the full price from the 2nd or 3rd year at the latest – perhaps forever.
Pro Tip: Sign up and sign out right away. Trial periods usually last 14 or 30 days and give you the opportunity to test the software extensively. Many providers extend the free trial period upon request.
SaaS tariffs are often designed in such a way that the cheaper packages in particular never really fit the customer’s work processes. The most attractive solution is actually always the largest – and most expensive – package, even if some functions are then not used. The idea behind this, of course, is to get the customer into the more expensive tariff sooner or later.
Pro tip: Before clicking on the offer for the next more extensive – and more expensive – rate, at least briefly think through a needs analysis. And if a package doesn’t fit at all, don’t hesitate to ask for a downgrade and a corresponding refund.
…are not only the oil of the digital world. It can also be used as a hostage to keep customers. Anyone who loads business or customer data into a SaaS tool should first check the provider beforehand (more on this at the end of the article) and secondly be aware that the time required to enter the data is also an argument for remaining loyal to a provider.
That’s one of the reasons why Amazon is nowhere near as valuable an online platform as its own cloud provider, Amazon Web Services!
Pro tip: Never! immediately move to a new solution with all your data.
4. Functions & APIs
The use of new software is a challenge, especially for established companies. While startups begin with an empty database, SMEs and corporations have been diligently accumulating data sets and IT projects for years. A whole orchestra of applications needs to be organized. So it’s time to take a closer look at the interfaces!
Do the old systems and the new software solution even fit together? Can all the necessary data be exchanged securely and smoothly? Does it perhaps require manual input somewhere and does the new solution then make any sense at all?
Pro tip: Test all relevant functions and interfaces in test mode.
5. The Customization Trap
For budget reasons alone, smaller companies often have to make do with the standard functions of a software product. Larger mid-sized companies and corporations, on the other hand, tend to tweak a halfway suitable solution until it fits. This is not necessarily the best way to get good software. But it is certainly a good way to avoid a lengthy and expensive IT project.
Because for every (!) software solution there is also a suitable consultant who has specialized in bringing exactly this product to companies and putting it to use.
Probably the most common mistake at the decision-maker level is to plan a project budget for the customization of an existing software solution only once at the beginning. If you want to do it right – and compare the real costs – you also have to think about daily administration and regular updates.
The easiest – and often safest – way: Hands off Customization!
Pro tip: Even software with a well-known logo does not fit every industry. However, competitors and business partners often know good software solutions. Just ask them.
Online soon: CyXperts
We know how difficult it is to find good service providers and software vendors that value privacy and IT security – or offer specific services in these areas.
That’s why we’re currently working on a database to introduce you to pre-selected potential business partners.
The first virtual coffee rounds with partners providing support and solutions around New Work will take place on 11/25/2021 (in English) and 11/26/2021 (in German). Sign up here for our newsletter and receive the meeting links.