It is 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a grinding halt. Entire countries are in chaos, businesses and shops shut abruptly, and the economy is reeling. Until 2019, this would be the stuff sci-fi movies and thrillers are made of. In 2020, this became the new normal. As offices closed and people started to work from home, organizations faced an enormous challenge—to enable them to work from home and maintain productivity levels as before. This is where SaaS or Software as a Service came in. Entrepreneurs and companies with SaaS product ideas transformed the way we work today, resulting in nearly 80% of businesses using at least one SaaS application in their workflow.
What is SaaS?
SaaS, or Software as a Service, is a software delivery model that hosts business applications on the cloud, so you can access them from anywhere, using nearly any device. SaaS software reduces business IT spending and improves productivity, delivery rates and reliability. Early SaaS software such as Concur, Salesforce and others spearheaded the adoption of SaaS throughout the industry. It led to the transition of SaaS from a small, niche offering for startups and small companies to one used by large and small organizations alike.
Related read: SaaS Business Model
Some SaaS statistics
The SaaS products industry got its biggest boost during the pandemic. Poised to cross the $150 billion mark by 2022, SaaS is enabling every industry worldwide. From finance to marketing, manufacturing, food, transportation and healthcare, there is hardly any industry vertical that is not leveraging the power of SaaS. A recent report from Gartner states that global SaaS spending will cross $300b in 2021, making it an exceedingly valuable proposition for entrepreneurs with SaaS product ideas. Trends have also showcased a slow but steady transition from licensed, on-premise desktop software to cloud solutions making a case for SaaS stronger than ever before.
Finding SaaS ideas as an entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs strive to solve the problems and underserved needs of their target audience. For those taking their first steps into the SaaS world, it is essential to know where to find ideas that can make it big. Here’s what you can do for inspiration:
- Find an actual problem
Most new software products fail to make their mark or succeed because they focus on problems that do not need solving and focus on finding a problem that actually exists and is faced by many people.
- Use your expertise
If you are an industry expert or a subject matter expert, you are better placed than most entrepreneurs to know the problems and how to solve them effectively.
- Find a market that needs innovation
Entrepreneurs often flock to markets that already have established players. This pits you against existing, established players—making your journey to success a bit difficult unless you have a ground-breaking product.
- Look at current market trends
Trends move quickly in the SaaS world. The current wave of SaaS products focuses on remote teams, virtual learning and AI. As more than 42% of the IT industry is currently working from home, SaaS products increasingly focus on this trend. However, offices are slowly opening in most major cities, so watch out before taking the plunge.
- Review other SaaS products
Read through the reviews of other SaaS products and find out their problem areas and pain points. One-star reviews are a great place to start.
In addition to these, you can even consult a market research service, read up on SaaS industry insights and more! The possibilities are endless!
Validating your SaaS idea
You must validate your idea before you create a SaaS product from it. Validation reduces the unknowns and risks—making your product vision clearer than before. Every SaaS (or any) entrepreneur must also know what to validate. Here’s a list of the whats:
- Your audience
As each product has users, you must know who will use your product. Knowing your audience is significant for all entrepreneurs.
- The problem
Most successful products solve issues that address a problem uniquely. Find the pain points of your audience and clarify any assumptions you might have made initially.
- The value of your product
Your customers will only pay for the product if it generates value for them.
Here are some tips that include the how to validate your product:
- Take audience Surveys
Surveys are a great way to see if you are going on the right path. Using these surveys, you can interact with your audience and determine if your paint point assumptions and potential solutions are on point.
- Analyze your competition
If you create a product for an established market, it is good to analyze your competition and see what they do to gain customer base. You can also use this analysis to see if their customers are satisfied with the existing solution.
- Landing pages
Landing pages are great to see how many people are interested in your product. Follow traditional SEO and marketing strategies to build a web page and drive traffic to it. Reach out to customers who land on your page to analyze if they are interested in your product using CTAs.
- Sample groups
Sample groups are great to get feedback from. As these groups will provide first-hand, in-person feedback, you can use this feedback to improve your product offering.
Clickable mockups are a great way to showcase how your product will look and feel to your clients. Using mockups, you can easily fine-tune the user experience of your product before you create it.
Top SaaS ideas for 2022—with insights and acquisition strategies
We understand that ideas might sometimes be hard to come by, and you may want insights that help you take the entrepreneurial plunge. Here are our top picks:
Telemedicine is the application of IT to medicine. Telemedicine allows patients to get access to healthcare providers at all times, ensuring the availability of quality healthcare to all.
Telemedicine provides convenience and accessibility to both patients and healthcare providers. Additionally, telemedicine also allows healthcare providers to monitor patients remotely, reducing their exposure to viruses and other pathogens.
A report by McKinsey stated that telehealth could potentially become a $250b industry in the coming years. As patient interest in telemedicine rose nearly 70% during the pandemic, and the number of telehealth visits increased 150x. This makes telehealth an extremely viable option for any entrepreneur.
Popular examples of telehealth services include the nationwide rollout of India’s national telehealth service, eSanjeevaniOPD, which will potentially help a billion people access quality healthcare throughout India. Volumetree is proud to be associated with this venture and has helped GOI. Other known telehealth services include Teladoc, Lovongo, 98point6 and more!
2. Intra-organization and inter-organization communication (team communication)
Startups, in general, are always on the lookout for innovative ways to communicate with each other. As organizations are increasingly adopting remote work as a norm, popular communication services such as Zoom, Slack, Workgroups, and many more innovative communication platforms have heightened interest from investors and umbrella organizations.
Communication software allows large and small distributed teams to communicate effectively, especially in real-time. This leads to highly improved team and project management and boosts productivity manifold.
A McKinsey report stated that better communication boosts productivity by up to 25%. Additionally, a report by ThinkTalent noted that employees that minimize the silo effect are 3x more productive than their peers. Team communication is a part of a $10B industry that is growing at a healthy CAGR of 6%.
Popular examples of team communication tools include Skype, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Facebook at Work, ProofHub, WebEx and more.
3. KPI and OKR Tracking
Ever since Google decided to adopt IBM and Intel’s OKR as a tool for measuring employee performance, there has been a flurry of tools that assist organizations in monitoring and assessing employee progress.
KPI and OKR tracking systems help HR teams and management monitor and motivate employees to perform better consistently effectively. This helps in employee satisfaction and organizational growth.
More and more organizations are beginning to address burnouts and are trying to improve employee efficiency. This has led to organizations shifting their focus from how to work remotely to how to grow remotely. There is immense potential for growth in KPI and OKR management.
Software such as Profit.co, Betterworks, SimpleOKR and Kazoo offer organizations ways to monitor progress and improve growth dramatically.
4. Marketing automation
Poor marketing is the bane of every organization and can cause a decline in revenues and stunted organizational growth. Communication issues, deadline management, and manual errors in analysis and scheduling can cause issues that the organization can continue to face for years to come. Marketing automation helps organizations overcome this risk, and it is seen with the marketing automation software growth of a healthy 8.55%, aiming to reach $6.5b by 2024.
As multi-channel user engagement remains the number one priority for marketing teams to improve the company’s baseline and customer base, smart marketing automation that leverages AI and ML are slated to boom rapidly.
The marketing automation space is ripe for picking innovative tools that can help teams boost productivity and improve engagement levels. Tools such as Marketo, Duel, HubSpot, MailChimp and many others are helping drive marketing automation.
5. Video editing
Video is the future of marketing. As the world transitioned from TV to the internet to blogs, the world has come full circle to move back to videos as the preferred tool for organic traffic. Video rendition and editing is a big market with the popularity of YouTube, Tiktok, Instagram and others. As people increasingly move to video for information, this $800m market will breach the $1b barrier by 2025, making it an exceedingly viable prospect for any entrepreneur.
Video rendering and editing is an exceedingly demanding process and requires high-end hardware. SaaS solutions take the hardware expense out of the picture and give individuals the power to render videos without breaking the bank.
As software like Veed, Shotstack and many others continue to gain market share, this space is exceedingly viable for budding entrepreneurs to build innovative products that can stir up the market.
How can Volumetree help you break ground as a new SaaS startup?
We have helped dozens of first-time entrepreneurs, Governments, and large organizations take the SaaS plunge. With our global reach and access to a vast pool of world-class talent, we can help you begin your entrepreneurial journey. We’ve worked with large multinational organizations, governmental agencies and startups and have helped them create innovative SaaS software from the ground up. Our services encompass every aspect of building an MVP—from ideation to launch. Our team of project managers, engineers, test engineers, designers and UX experts will ensure that your SaaS idea transforms into a well-rounded, world-class product. Schedule a free 15-minute meeting with our product experts to know how we can help you build an outstanding product today!