The future of SaaS is “a new app for every company”

With the advent of cheaper software development, it will be so cheap to develop software from scratch that it will make more sense to build one from scratch than to buy a prepackaged one with a bunch of features you won’t ever use and which is not perfectly fit for your needs.

The current business model of developing a SaaS and then selling it to many will no longer be viable.

There’s also another thing that will affect how things will grow: Content will be so cheap that it will no longer be possible to rank by the quality of your content. Instead, trust and proof points will be the key to ranking and selling.

  1. The SaaS model will be replaced by a SoD model (“Software on Demand”). Instead of paying for a SaaS application, you will subscribe to a software vendor with niche expertise who will build, maintain and continue to develop the software that you need on demand, exactly to your business specifications.
  2. We will see the emergence of “platforms” which allow these specialized vendors to build their apps on the fly based on “modules” (here I use “modules” as a very loose term – it’s more like “pieces” or “frameworks” to build on top of).
  3. Longer term, customers will only subscribe to these “platforms” and build their own SaaS on the fly by themselves. The consultants / agencies will be used as business process experts that guide the process of what the customer needs.

We are already seeing point 2 loosely today. Apps used to be self-contained “all in one” things. Now, they’re more “a central brain / database” with some basic features which a multitude of apps connect to. Taking this to its final destination, we will arrive at a place where the entire thing is custom built.

Looking at the CRM industry, for example, this new business model looks like this: “We know what a good CRM should do. We will build one for you, from scratch. Exactly as you need it.”

The proof point will not be the “demo of the software”, but “a demo of the vendor’s expertise”. This could look something akin to how you’d hire a designer or a brand agency today – they can showcase various pieces they’ve created in the past or their methodology for doing so to build trust. You don’t buy their expertise – you buy their expertise and trust that they will use it to design, maintain and continue to adapt an application that will take your business process to the next level.

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