The COVID-19 pandemic has created something of a dichotomy in the business world. On the one hand, countless organizations have been damaged and way too many have been destroyed by the economic fallout.
On the other hand, many businesses have faced unprecedented demand. Software-as-a-Service, in particular, is witnessing another wave of explosive growth (as if the first wasn’t explosive enough), ideally positioned to meet the needs of work-from-home, cloud-first, workforces.
As a result of the pandemic, businesses – big and small - have little choice but to accelerate their digital transformation journey. They’re crying out for new tools, features and services that will let them adjust to the new normal.
SaaS vendors and emerging ISVs (for lack of a better phrase) that are able to fulfil these demands are taking market share right now.
Let’s be clear: the software space was a hotbed of innovation well before the pandemic. Hyper-verticalized software providers have been doing a superb job at creating business applications that directly address the needs of business, needs that seem to change mid-air, on an hourly basis.
However, as the pandemic tightened its grip on the world, the way people work and collaborate changed, almost overnight. Thankfully, the cloud delivered exactly what we’ve all been saying it would: elastic, on-demand, accessible, and all that jazz.
And now the floodgates of innovation are fully open.
In fact, according to Gartner, the total cloud market is expected to grow from $257.867 billion in 2020 to $306.948 in 2021, and $364,062 in 2022!
In the midst of this growth, SaaS remains as the largest market segment thanks to the continued shift from on-premises license software to subscription-based SaaS models and, of course, the impact of the pandemic that forced companies to embrace new software collaboration tools.
However, it’s not all roses and to keep up with the market needs and ensure a sustainable growth, SaaS and ISVs vendors need to do more than simply offer elastic, pay-as-you-go consumption models.
The Need to Adapt to a New Era
ISVs and as-a-service players are facing their own set of challenges.
Their customers are expecting more, demanding more. Across all industries, users want software that makes their lives easier, do their job better, and help them perform daily tasks more efficiently. And they expect those experiences to be effortless and frictionless.
SaaS and ISV vendors must be able to match these expectations and deliver streamlined, customer-friendly products and experiences. But let’s be honest: the customer experience of many SaaS vendors is still quite disjointed.
In addition to that, delivering those experiences, while meeting the speed with which customers crave for new products and updates, isn’t as straightforward as it seems.
Finding a Solution
I recently spoke to a SaaS vendor that develops digital banking applications for retail banks about this exact challenge.
They told me that in the wake of the pandemic, their backlog of enhancement requests was off the charts. Consumers were moving to digital-first practically overnight and wanted everything from their banking provider - new bill pay features, new bank transfer features – the whole nine yards.
Yet, the only options they saw to accelerate the product roadmap were to either hire more expensive on-shore engineers or open an off-shore development center.
Then, they found the OutSystems high-performance low-code platform.
This is a story that I’ve been seeing again and again. Because my primary responsibility at OutSystems is to design strategies and programs that enable our partner ecosystem to grow their business using our platform, I spend much of my time on the phone with C-level Product, Technology, Business–Line executives listening to their challenges about how to bring winning products to market faster and more efficiently.
And over the last year, I’ve noticed a trend that appears to be accelerating: business application ISV and SaaS providers are turning to our platform as a way to accelerate their time-to-market and embed OutSystems as a bona fide component of their application development stack.
The reason for that is that many emerging ISVs and solution-led SaaS players simply don’t have the resources in place to meet this kind of demand.
A good example is Advance Technology Company (ATC), a leading distributor of healthcare technology services in Kuwait. With many hospitals struggling with gathering and maintaining patient information, ATC wanted to develop a flexible, yet comprehensive hospital management system to tackle that problem and improve patients’ experience and care.
With OutSystems, ATC developed a complete hospital management system called Sapphire HMS that can be deployed in weeks instead of months and customized for any healthcare organization.
This is just one of the over 160 ISVs and SaaS vendors currently using our application development platform to drive their product. We have seen first-hand how our platform can enable companies to quickly bring new products and features to market with fewer developers.
OutSystems Modern Development Platform for SaaS and ISV
With the OutSystems platform, customers can build even the most complex applications rapidly. Our deployment models enable both multi and single-tenant deployments, running on OutSystems cloud, or self-managed, ensure compliance and security, and our architecture enables easy change management.
All of this means that software vendors can do more with less. A lot more. Data from our existing partners suggests that our customers can reduce dev and test costs required to deliver a market ready application by 60-80%; they can reduce application maintenance efforts by 25-50%, and reduce operating infrastructure costs by 25%.
We see, on average, a 3-7x reduction of time to deliver market ready applications, and a 5x annual increase in development capacity.
This kind of impact can make all the difference between hitting the market window ahead of your competition, or missing it.
This Is the Future, Get Onboard
It’s not uncommon to meet some resistance to the idea of moving to a platform like OutSystems. Developers are a capable bunch and, without meaning to state the obvious, the success of a software vendor is contingent on its ability to... you know… develop software that wins in the market.
But COVID-19 has been like a tornado that has flung business transformation into the air—and we’re simply not in Kansas anymore. Vendors can spend the next five years trying to keep up with demand, running, simply to stand still. Or, they can take a good hard look at their SDLC, and wider processes, and ask where optimizations can be made.
Increasingly, we’re seeing SaaS providers and ISVs realize that if they want to compete and capitalize on market opportunities, platforms like ours have a crucial role to play. This is undoubtedly the future – I suggest you buy a ticket and hop onboard.
To learn more about OutSystems for ISV and MSP, visit this page.