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The Growth Challenges Faced by Software Companies

29 June 2017

 

For a software company growth means being able to offer your application to more and potentially bigger customers.

There comes a time in that growth process of any such business however, where it feels like something is holding you back. You’re ready to move to the next stage but you can’t - it could be your people, your finances, your product, your service or the infrastructure that supports it. Whatever the specifics, you need to break through.

Whether you are starting out, or dealing with growing pains, with the right hosting solution from the right hosting provider, these risks and challenges can be conquered.

Let’s look at these challenges in more detail and outline the steps required to overcome them.

Scalability

One of the biggest barriers to growth for a successful SaaS application is computing capacity. Most cloud applications tend to start off small, targeting niche business, organisational or societal problems. Being able to grow the application easily to attract new customers while being able to assure a level of performance for existing customers during this period is essential.

An application can be developed and hosted with only a minor upfront infrastructure investment. However, as the market sees the benefit, they evolve and need more resources in order to be provided to a broader and more diverse customer base.

It is after this primary phase of growth that SaaS businesses are most at risk. Their primary investment in infrastructure and the people to support it, is subjected to the entire weight of a growing clientele, and if servers fail, even for a short time, the financial and reputational damage can be extensive.

Investing in good, reliable and scalable hosted infrastructure is essential and should not be seen as a restraint but rather as an enabler to the growth and performance of the application.

Resources 

Building a team is essential at the start however as your business develops it is more about building the right team. Developers will be needed in order to develop new iterations of the application as it serves a bigger and possibly different market. 

Having to employ people whose skills are not core to achieving growth and having limitations on the infrastructure on which your application is hosted can put future revenue at risk. You don’t want to be employing people simply to manage your IT infrastructure. You want to be spending your money on developers who can take your application to the next level.

This is where a Managed Services Provider can help. MSPs invest in their staff, the certifications and accreditations they carry and their infrastructure so you don’t have to. In this case, having a third person in your relationship is a good thing. It means you can give all your focus to developing your software business.

Infrastructure 

It is essential to maintain performance of your application and the security of your customers’ data as your SaaS business grows. As you attract bigger customers they will no doubt have certain requirements that your application has to meet around performance and security. 

To mitigate these risks, many SaaS companies decide to move from their initial infrastructure set up to a solution that can offer the security, resilience, and scalability required to facilitate growth.

Choosing a hosting partner who can provide solutions that are designed to meet your exact requirements gives you the freedom and incentive to target bigger customers, safe in the knowledge that your infrastructure solution can handle any increased capacity and is monitored 24x7x365. 

Growth is integral to success for a SaaS provider. With the right hosting partner you will be able to tackle the risk and scaling challenges you face in growing your business.

The Right Partner 

Some software businesses pay significant sums from their early profits to grow their internal IT infrastructure team to maintain what they have. This means they miss out on investment in new developers and sales staff to innovate their application and grow their customer base. 

By working with a hosting partner who can design, build and maintain an infrastructure which has the goals of your business in mind, you can ensure that scalability, performance, resilience and security do not become limiting factors in the future. Instead your resources, time and budget can be focused on the innovation and growth of your application. 

To speak to iomart about our SaaS hosting services contact us today, or for more information about how iomart helps cloud software businesses overcome growth challenges – download our ebook How to Scale Up Your Infrastructure for Business Growth.

 

Tags: Software as a Service, SaaS