Much of the history of SaaS – or software as a service – has notoriously been focused on its horizontal side, and with good reason. Early SaaS pioneers like Salesforce had to get their software out in the open to as many customers as possible across several different industries who have a common need for it. But as certain industries have very specific needs compared to others, horizontal SaaS isn’t usually enough to satisfy them. Enter vertical SaaS and its aim to be industry-specific, unlike its bigger brother. You shouldn’t underestimate the small and narrow scope of vertical SaaS though as it can benefit entire industries as follows:
1.) Vertical SaaS focuses on delivering the product itself more than selling it.
Horizontal SaaS providers have to sell their product across several industries that have nothing in common at all other than a need to have a piece of software that they can use without having to spend on installer discs or downloads.
On the other hand, vertical SaaS providers come up with software that aims to streamline previously cumbersome internal processes that certain industries have, thus allowing them to serve their customers more efficiently.
2.) Vertical SaaS allows its providers to have a more in-depth look at certain industries.
Another drawback that horizontal SaaS has is that its providers usually can’t afford to take a closer look at certain processes of some of the industries that they’ve chosen to serve with their software. Not gaining more insight into the ins and outs of certain industries can cause horizontal SaaS providers to develop generic software that doesn’t stand out in any way which can hurt their sales in the long run.
Meanwhile, providers specializing in vertical SaaS can immerse themselves inside the workings of certain industries which can lead them to come up with one-of-a-kind solutions to industry-specific needs.
3.) Vertical SaaS works even in certain industries that are historically slow to adopt the very concept of SaaS itself.
Some industries are unfortunately lagging behind in adopting SaaS. For instance, the banking industry has traditionally relied on using in-house applications that are running behind a firewall mostly due to information security and audit reasons.
But with vertical SaaS, banks can now take advantage of having most of their processes automated further so that they can serve more customers in less time without any fear of their data getting breached while saving money and resources at the same time.
Vertical SaaS has accommodated the rise of more than 400 providers as of 2015 as spread across several industries with healthcare and energy/utilities taking the lion’s share. After all, there are some needs specific to certain industries that no amount of horizontal SaaS can ever satisfy, and only vertical SaaS can focus on addressing them down to the smallest detail. If you’re running a business and you want to gain a competitive edge over the rest of your peers in your chosen industry to participate in, you should consider using vertical SaaS. The above-listed ways that this type of SaaS can benefit industries should convince you further to use it more than its traditional horizontal variant.
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