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Since 'Software as a Service' (SaaS) now represents almost 70 percent of the overall public cloud market, it is clear that SaaS has been rapidly transforming the information technology landscape. Crucially, the market is showing no signs of slowing, with projections indicating that the SaaS market will actually double within the next two years.
Analysts have identified several reasons for the forecasted SaaS growth. The fact that large tech companies including Microsoft, IBM, SAP and Oracle have large numbers of on-prem customers and sizeable strategic systems still to transfer to the cloud is undoubtedly one of the key elements making this market such a buoyant and exciting place to be.
Key SaaS Benefits for your Audience
SaaS provides a variety of tangible and easily recognisable benefits for consumers. Arguably, one of the most important advantages of SaaS is the unlimited and uninterrupted access to software it provides, regardless of device, time, and location.
The need for consumers to handle manual downloads and upgrades themselves is also removed, saving substantial amounts of time in both the short and long term. Important software and security updates are, instead, seamlessly delivered to all customers simultaneously, providing instant access to essential fixes and developments.
The widespread rise in subscription models across a range of sectors proves that consumers value a model in which they can avoid paying large sums of money up-front. Affordability drives accessibility, thus extending a vendor's reach to new and larger audiences.
Considerations for SaaS Vendors
Although SaaS success relies upon several core components, good design is absolutely imperative; indeed it is arguably the primary factor that will help you to realise your full potential.
It has been demonstrated time and time again that even the greatest products can - and will - fail if appropriate considerations aren’t given to usability and user experience. Consumers simply aren’t going to use your product if they find the interface difficult to navigate or awkward to use. Remember, your technology should seek to simplify the lives of your audience, not provide needless complications that only deliver avoidable frustrations.
Any shortcuts made will ultimately be visible in your final product; putting in the work is non-negotiable if you want your product to succeed.
Why User Experience Matters
Research suggests that a clear focus on user experience could see your ROI soar from 2:1 to 100:1. Additionally, analysts predict that user experience will transcend both price and product to become the central brand differentiator by 2020. So, it's clearly something of an understatement to say that paying close attention to the experience you're providing is hugely important.
The Importance of Research and Insight Analysis to User Experience
Let’s be honest, from a general business perspective, there are far worse ways to spend time than investing in building a comprehensive understanding of your audience. Information gleaned from user research will inform a variety of key decisions throughout the lifetime of your business. This is especially important for digital-based businesses, as almost 90 percent of online consumers simply won't return to a website following a bad experience.
As a SaaS vendor, you should ensure that the design of your software interface has solid foundations. This is almost wholly reliant upon thorough research and comprehensive analysis of key user insights. Investment in these foundation areas will help you to understand everything from goals and tasks, to scenarios and user journeys, ensuring that the experience you ultimately provide to your audience is genuinely intuitive and meets or exceeds their expectations.
There may once have been a time when an aesthetically pleasing design or one based upon assumptions was enough to get by, but this is no longer the case. If you want to see game-changing results and to truly leverage the explosive growth in the SaaS market, understanding the wants, needs, frustrations and expectations of both your users and your potential users is absolutely crucial.
Check out the business impact that a user interface redesign made to this B2B compliance portal for Licence Bureau.
If you are considering a review of your software user interface, contact us to see how we have helped other organisations distrupt their industry and get ahead of their competition.