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Top Tips on Starting an As-a-Service Start-Up
Opening a new tech start-up is not without its challenges. There are already thousands of tech companies competing for the same market segments, so you know that the market is saturated.
There are also a lot of similar products being offered to customers, which means you have to work twice as hard to come up with products that are different and valuable at the same time.
While you can enter the tech start-up landscape and pursue individual users – and there are still so many opportunities to seize on the market – the real gem of the tech landscape is its enterprise segment. Small and medium businesses are actively looking for solutions to help them leverage information technology without making big initial investments.
There is one solution that suits the needs of small and medium enterprises perfectly, and that solution is IT as a service. What is IT as a service exactly? What are the things you can do to ensure the success of your new IT start-up? We are going to answer these questions in this article.
The As-a-Service Revolution
In the old days, a company needs to invest in servers, buy licenses for business solutions, and then go through the implementation to get the business solutions up and running within the company. There are still corporations that rely on this method to keep their IT infrastructure and solutions consolidated too.
Today, however, the approach is somewhat outdated. Businesses no longer need to invest big in servers and infrastructure just to benefit from the best IT solutions. Business solutions are actually being offered as services, which means businesses only need to pay a monthly fee and no initial investment to utilize those solutions.
The As-a-Service business model works, especially since it also allows business solutions to be accessible to small and medium enterprises. Until a few years ago, small businesses didn’t even consider using Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP, let alone running the system in the cloud. Today, the same setup can be accessed for a small monthly fee.
Adopting the Business Model
The As-a-Service business model doesn’t just apply to solutions or software. Yes, Software as a Service or Solution as a Service (SaaS) is the most popular form on the market, but it is far from being the only form. We now have Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, and similar platforms offering Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Anyone can rent a substantial cloud computing cluster for any purpose without having to invest in the required infrastructure.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) is also becoming more popular. PaaS combines SaaS and IaaS to create a more unified solution for business users. Users don’t just gain access to solutions and the infrastructure that supports those solutions, but also to additional resources that allow for better integration and a more seamless enterprise workflow.
Any of these models can be adopted. They are suitable for new ventures looking for the best ways to penetrate the B2B market. Keep in mind that the B2B IT market is not as saturated as the retail market, so there are plenty of opportunities to pursue. After finding a solution to an existing enterprise problem – one that can be developed into a product – you can work towards offering the solution as a comprehensive service.
Opening a new start-up for the purpose of offering IT solutions and services is straightforward, but it is not without its challenges. You can easily develop your product idea into a service package that is more mature and ready for the market; there are a lot of resources to help you take that product idea to its mature state too.
However, you still have to get other details right from the start. Acquiring skilled workers – and improving your skills in the process – and creating an efficient workflow are among the challenges you need to overcome before you can get the new start-up off the ground.
Recruiting specialists and experienced IT workers isn’t always possible for two reasons. First of all, experienced IT specialists are in high demand, so they are relatively expensive. For a new start-up, the premium may not be something you can afford at the moment.
The second reason is culture. Creating a suitable corporate culture is crucial for a tech start-up, and experienced workers don’t always have the ability to adapt. For example, not all experienced specialists are willing to assume multiple roles or contribute more to the company.
The more viable solution is hiring workers with basic skills, and then providing them with trainings and opportunities to grow alongside the business. Yes, it takes more time to develop your team members, but the results are well worth the extra time and efforts you spend on them.
For starters, finding the best IT courses is a lot easier than you think. Findcourses.co.uk has more than 1,000 IT courses to choose from, and all you need to do to find the right ones for your team members by using the Find Courses search tool.
When a team member searches for IT courses and finds one they want to take, you should provide that team member with the support he or she needs to get started. Before you know it, everyone in the company – including you – is learning new things and acquiring skills that support the company in the long run.
With the team assembled, the next challenge is creating an efficient workflow. Remember that the IT solutions you provide are provided to the clients as a service, and business clients have higher service level requirements that need to be met if you want to be successful in this field.
A smooth and seamless workflow can be created with a smooth flow of information as its foundation. For everyone in the team to be effective at all times, you have to make sure that they always have access to the best, most relevant information as well.
Your sales team, for example, needs to be able to understand the potential client based on results of past meetings and other interactions. Using a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, that customer can have a smoother journey.
The same can be said for tasks within the start-up. The development team needs to communicate with the marketing and finance departments for a better development workflow. Constant communication allows the marketing department to prepare for the release of a new update even before the update is ready; it helps the finance department create a more accurate budget based on what steps need to be taken next.
To the Market
Planning a new IT start-up, taking a business idea into SaaS or IT as a service product package that business customers really like, and creating the perfect team to support the product (and the company as a whole) are the steps you need to take to penetrate the B2B tech market. The As-a-service business model allows your products to reach a wider customer base, so marketing the product will not be a problem.
All that is left to do is setting your go-to-market deadline and getting started with your new venture. The sooner you can enter the market, the more opportunities you can seize, and the faster you can get your tech start-up to success. Besides, you already have the best tips and tricks to use in this article, so you have what it takes to succeed as an SaaS service provider.