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SaaS applications

7 reasons why you shouldn’t buy SaaS

Odette Carney Custom Solutions, SaaS

Promoting the case for custom-built solutions

The hyper-popularity of SaaS is a testament to the value it brings to organisations. It’s transformed the IT cost base from major capital investments requiring years of planning to many applications running on a simple monthly subscription.

But, there are a few weaknesses in the SaaS business model that highlight the strengths of a custom-built solution.

Here’s the list to keep in mind:

1. SaaS can be a lot more expensive than originally planned

SaaS can be attractive because it often starts out as a small monthly fee – introductory pricing encourages trial and adoption by new users. As you start to use it more, add more data or require access to additional functionality though, the price can substantially increase. What starts as a small subscription cost, can quickly escalate into a major ongoing cost.

Custom-built solutions may require an up front fee but after that, scaling the solution typically incurs no (or negligible) additional cost.

2. New features are outside of your control

Every SaaS company has a product roadmap that determines what new features are built and when. What you may see as a critical new feature may not be on your SaaS company’s priority list to build. In addition, features that are built may end up being ones you don’t need that add complexity to the system.

With a custom-built solution you control your own destiny. You can build and enhance features and functionality as you see fit.

3. Integrating SaaS with other apps isn’t always easy

There can be limitations when trying to integrate SaaS with other applications. Although most SaaS applications integrate via APIs or tools, the integrations may not work as well as you expect or you need to pay a lot extra for them.

Integrating your custom-built solution with other applications can be completely customised so that the information being shared is accurate every time.

4. SaaS applications are generally not specific to your industry

Many SaaS applications are industry agnostic. SaaS companies have developed their application to have broad market appeal. Therefore industry nuances (for example regulatory or quality requirements) are not always easily accommodated.

A custom-built solution, specific requirements can be built into the application, saving teams time and money through less manual effort or workarounds.

5. It can be difficult to build competitive advantage with a SaaS application

Since everyone else has access to the same SaaS applications as you, building or deriving competitive advantage using them can be tricky.

Investing in a custom-built solution is one of the best ways to build competitive advantage. It can be developed to be unique to your requirements, be it process,integration and more, all of which will sustainably address your business challenge to deliver competitive advantage.

6. You don’t own the application

As a subscription based service, you never physically own a SaaS product. This can be a positive and a negative. The positive is that you can opt out and stop paying for the subscription. The negative is that you can’t control the application, for example when it goes down, or as mentioned add features/functionality that’s important to you. Both these things remain within your control with a custom-built solution.  

7. Although a remote risk, the chance of a SaaS company falling over (or getting acquired by your competitor) does exist

How reliant are you on the SaaS platform you’re using? Do you have a contingency plan in case the company falls over? Although this may sound uncommon, it does happen and can leave you in a tight spot, especially if your SaaS product is used to manage complex business processes.

Custom-built solutions avoid this risk. They are systems completely within your control and remain unaffected by external forces.

Ok we admit, SaaS is still a great option

We live in a world where not having access to SaaS is almost unthinkable. Most generic HR, marketing and CRM tools are SaaS applications and just like you, we can’t envisage our work days without them!

But SaaS applications don’t solve every business problem, and in many cases a custom-built solution will better address the challenge, be it to reduce manual work, increase revenue and/or create competitive advantage.

A well crafted custom-built solution offers multiple advantages, from being able to completely tailor it your specific process and industry needs to having full oversight and control of the system including hosting, usage, look and feel and much more.

Even better, if it has already been developed, via AlreadyBuilt you’ll be able to get it faster, cheaper and with less risk than building it yourself and still receive all the above benefits.

So check out our solutions and see if what you need is already built!

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