The sales page on that latest software purchase was irresistible. It promised so much and seemed like an excellent fit for your company.
But when you show your IT team, their reactions aren’t what you expected. “How will that work with our CRM?’, they mutter. “Isn’t that feature a duplicate of our website?” asks another.
Even the most promising software can cause challenges for a business, and it’s one reason why ambitious companies choose vertical SaaS instead.
So, what is Vertical SaaS? Read on to learn more about this model and how it can benefit your business.
SaaS – which stands for Software as a Service, is a cloud-based software model. It’s become popular in recent years since it gives companies easy access to the IT solutions they need.
The companies don’t need to buy hardware or make sizeable software investments. Instead, they pay to use software in the cloud. It’s akin to a renting model where you pay per month.
Vertical SaaS offers a suite of industry-specific solutions. For example, in the education sector, vertical SaaS might have learning management, student records, and assessment tools all under one solution.
That might include analytics tools, compliance and risk management, and banking in the finance sector.
In other words, these are tailor-made solutions that fit a particular business’s specific needs and demands. You can contrast this with horizontal SaaS, which offers general software for multiple industries.
There are many reasons why a business might favor a vertical SaaS solution for their IT. Here are some of the main benefits:
Vertical SaaS provides design solutions around the specific needs of an industry. So, they are often highly customized and may come with specialist components.
For example, perhaps you work in an industry with an unusual workflow not adopted elsewhere. You might find it challenging to use general software if it doesn’t fit that workflow.
It makes using tools more cumbersome, and you often need manual intervention. With vertical SaaS, you won’t have that problem.
Depending on your industry, you may face strict regulations. It’s always vital to address these in any software you adopt.
For example, if you are in healthcare, you have strict rules on patient data and privacy, and a lack of compliance could land you with fines.
Vertical software solutions focus on regulations needed for that industry. So, they will offer full compliance from the start without needing alternations.
With vertical SaaS, you have almost a one-stop shop for your business IT. And that means you won’t have to work on integrating multiple tools and software from different providers.
That can often present you with a challenge, as you might have legacy software without provider support and one that’s difficult to integrate. Getting different software to talk to each other takes considerable time and money.
Specialist software for your industry will often come from providers with deep knowledge of your unique business needs. A good software provider continually innovates to bring new ideas and features to the market.
That’s a considerable benefit to your business as it gives you an immediate advantage. Take AI, for example.
Suppose you are in the advertising industry, and your SaaS offers new AI-powered features. In that situation, you’ll get all the benefits without investing in more tools.
You’ll become part of that community when you use industry-specific tools and software. It’s not only the features in the software that will benefit you.
You may also benefit from other things, like networking events or insights and research about your industry.
For example, an SEO company using a specialist SEO platform may learn about new Google updates from the software provider.
If vertical SaaS sounds right for you, there are a few ways you can ensure you pick the best solution for your business.
Firstly, shortlist the tools with a good reputation in your industry. You can use online reviews to do this, but it’s best to get some recommendations when you attend a networking event.
Vendor experience and expertise are vital. You want a company that understands your industry and has worked with similar clients.
Once you have a shortlist, score the tools on customization. It’s one of the significant benefits of vertical SaaS, so you want to ensure it’s a good fit for your business.
You’ll need to take some time to review how your business currently operates to check you’ve found the right match. That includes checking your processes and workflows, plus your team’s skillset.
Next, book a demo. It’s a chance to ask questions and give you a feel for whether the tool is usable and beneficial. Use this demo to find out how easy the tool is to customize to what your business needs.
You should also check with the company what support they offer during the onboarding stage and ongoing support.
Finally, negotiate with the provider about the price and packaging you need.
Make sure you have a good service agreement for what you pay, and compare and contrast packages from different providers to ensure you get excellent value for money.
SaaS only benefits your business if you take the time to implement it correctly. That starts with getting stakeholders on board. If you have internal support for the tool, it’s more likely to see a high adoption rate.
Secondly, invest in training. Use modern, online training packages that your teams can complete at a time that suits them.
Good training will ensure the team takes full advantage of all the functionality, not limit it to the parts they understand.
If you want an advantage in your business, IT is the fastest and most effective way to achieve that. So, what is vertical SaaS? It’s the ideal way to invest in a solution perfectly suited to your needs.
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