What Is Next After SaaS?

Software as a Service is a frequently used delivery model for many business functions, especially when there is a need for flexibility and affordability. Also known as Saas, its on-demand nature requires that it be easily customized and ready to go with minimum disruption to regular operations. The SaaS business model typically generates an ongoing stream of revenue, which is always an attraction to technology companies. SaaS is based on continuous innovation around the delivery of technology as services to solve the problem of customers utilizing business process management, automation, and analysis. The key focus of SaaS is to provide customers with access to information and business intelligence. For small businesses and start-ups, SaaS is often the go-to solution for their varied needs ranging from purchasing an annual email subscription to securing a subscription-based applicant tracking system for efficient handling of various recruitment functions. At the moment, it is a win-win for businesses and software development companies.

“At the moment” is the key phrase here, which begs the obvious question:

Will SaaS remain a win-win going forward?

As the software industry has evolved from disc to cloud, the concept of SaaS might well be reaching a saturation point due to limited scope of innovation offered to customers and the fact that technology is not the solution for everything. Twenty years ago, developing software was a lean approach to business. But if we see software development as a subset of technology development, we will perhaps be able to recognize the transformation that the software development industry has undergone over the past two decades, and to correlate that transformation with changes in technology development. The need to have integrated and customized solutions (Agile, waterfall, and DevOps approaches) has made the software development industry more innovative than ever. As a result, the technology development industry has become highly competitive. With consumer expectations increasing by the day, it is time for software companies to adopt a hybrid model that combines human talent with technology offerings. Such a model would benefit customers while also giving businesses a competitive edge. As the staffing industry is flooded with HR-tech startups that are undergoing major transformations, the concept of innovating for growth will soon be a matter of survival. An app alone as a product is not a solution anymore−you need more like an end-to-end solution to be successful in a rapidly evolving global marketplace.

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I think the time is now to strike a balance between automation (using artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance technology-driven workforce solutions) and human touch for what we do as a socially conscious business. Can we transform SaaS into a collaborative business model while still retaining its core benefits? In a global world of talent acquisition and management, is there a way to use software as a means to support human-driven interactions that also builds trust and relationships with customers?

Think Hybrid: Software and Services

The term Software as a Service puts more emphasis on the ‘software’ component through which ‘service’ is delivered. As a hybrid delivery model,  Software and Services puts equal emphasis on both the components in a mutually exclusive way, where software is utilized to deliver services in an efficient and cost-effective way. With changing times, however, technology alone is no longer a driver of customer satisfaction. Now buyers and consumers care just as much about the quality of services as they do about the quality of products. SaS is about providing topnotch, end-to-end services to companies through a reasonable level of human interaction. Technology will continue to experience exponential growth for as long as humans live on earth — but what about the qualitative growth of human interactions? In today’s world, real conversations have become a distant dream for many of us, especially when we collaborate with global teams. Emailing questions to each other instead of going over to a colleague’s desk; texting instead of meeting for a cup of coffee; and chatting over instant messaging apps instead of dropping by to say hi are just some of the examples that should open our eyes to why real human interactions are important.

With SaS, we would be looking at helping ourselves find a way to offer both services and integrated technological solutions to organizations equally. Our interaction with the world won’t be restricted to mere downloading of a software and interaction with members of the technical team for training and configuration only. It would help us create human-driven solutions for the future.

SaS as a winning synergy in staffing

Software and automation will not replace human touch in the staffing industry. The human-to-human connection is always going to make sourcing and recruiting work, as it is an industry entirely driven by relationships.  So when it comes to attracting talent in a highly competitive global workplace, SaS will be the synergy that is currently lacking in the cost-driven, tech-dominated world of talent acquisition, where the focus is primarily on cost savings.

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Nish Parikh

Nish Parikh
Nish Parikh is co-founder and CEO of Rangam Consultants Inc..

Nish Parikh

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