How much of your business relies on software? Quite a lot. How much of it came in a box? Not a lot. That very fact has changed the world as we know it.
Software nowadays comes as a service. SaaS for short. It's not downloaded locally on your computer, it does not have a hefty price tag, and it is updated and improved all the time. It’s a tech revolution that has been going on for years. Its full impact is only becoming clear now, though.
SaaS is making every company on the planet a software company.
I will give you an example. At SaaStock, we do not have a single paper process. Many of us do not even have notebooks. What we use instead are 50+ SaaS applications. From the email client, customer relationship management, and the internal communication and collaboration tool, through document storage, accounting software, and expense reporting, all the way to the video conferencing, and social media scheduling tool. And much more.
Without them, we would not be able to operate or grow our event business.
By using so many tools, we are in essence a software company. And we are by no means unique in that. Subscription is now the most popular business model for the software industry. According to Gartner, the Cloud SaaS Application market will be worth $75.7 billion by 2020.
The SaaS powered generation
What did SaaS do so right that allowed it to have such bright future? Many reasons but here are my top three:
• SaaS stimulates growth of SMBs
It brought the cost of using software to a minimum, often offering free versions. That has made software products widely available to a critical segment - SMBs. SaaS has allowed many of them to get off the ground.
• SaaS improves performance
It gave us uncanny ability to organise our workload and business through CRM platforms, to-do list applications and AI-powered sales tools. We know better what to do today, or how to close deals.
• SaaS allows working with the best people
Tools like Teamwork and Slack have empowered the rise of the remote team. At SaaStock we are six people, spread between three countries. It helps us built more pan-European events. Enterprise class collaboration tools have aided our communication, allowing us to make decisions fast and maintain a strong company culture.
Solving major problems ubiquitously made SaaS what it is today.
Is it easy to build a SaaS company? No, far from it. Yes, building software is easier and cheaper than ever. That's played a part in the proliferation of SaaS.
But growing and scaling a SaaS business is hard. The business model that helped make it ubiquitous for the user made it tough to grow for the maker. There is a lot to keeping a customer happy and willingly paying their subscription fee every month and year.
It's tough getting the initial traction. It is tougher to grow from there. And even with product market fit and scale, challenges abound on the way to the summit.
It takes an unlimited amount of perseverance and gumption to press on.
While IPO's have been back in fashion this year with Okta, Mulesoft, Yext, Cloudera amongst others, these billion dollar SaaS companies are not the norm. They make the headlines and provide the inspiration but are outliers. The chance of your company being an outlier is slim. When times are tough, that can be discouraging.
Why SaaStock then?
Because that is not a reason to give up. Building SaaS will always make sense. It allows companies like ours to exist and empowers us to grow. That has meant the world to us.
We are fortunate to have met the people behind the companies that have allowed us to exist. We are in awe with them. Like the local Irish heroes blazing the trail. Eoghan McCabe and Des Traynor at Intercom, Peter Coppinger at Teamwork, Paul Campbell at Tito. They are some of the most inspiring, genuine and incredible people you will ever meet.
There are so many European heroes like Algolia, Clearbit, Agorapulse, Typeform, building beautiful products and elevating European SaaS. These companies are still learning, growing, and evolving. They inspire a cohort of others behind them like Hotjar, Growbots, Newswhip, and Glofox. And in turn need their dose of inspiration from the ones ahead of them, like Slack, Zendesk, Qualtrics and New Relic.
We bring all these SaaS revolutionaries together. It doesn’t matter where they are on the journey. They all need to learn, meet key partners and investors, and connect with each other, so the grind of building a SaaS business is a little easier. The world has too much to lose if we do not have a close-knitted SaaS family.
That is why we created SaaStock. Inspired by the very people it is for and their fortitude, we press on to make it the best learning, networking and belonging opportunity.
We do it in the best place possible - Dublin, the SaaS city. It’s the perfect terroir for the experience we are trying to create. An equally good home to leading SaaS companies and many local startups alike, the city is ingrained with opportunity for connection, serendipity, and support. The culture of goodwill keeps everyone moving forward. There is no better place to create a sense of belonging and celebrate it over a pint of Guinness.
Global SaaS companies from more than 40 countries will fly into Dublin in September for SaaStock17. Each one of them contributes to the change of the world we are seeing. Each one of them pitches to the $75 billion industry. They will learn together how to make better sales pipelines, how to delight customers, and how to preserve the company culture that fuels everything.
Join us from September 18th to 20th to learn how SaaS is changing the world, how to build category-leading B2B SaaS businesses and turn your SaaS up to eleven!
You'll find us responsive to your needs, proactive, professional and willing to go the extra mile.
We have 28 Offices worldwide helping support companies expand their operations in Ireland.