Providers of Software as a Service (SaaS) saw business soar during the Covid-19 pandemic as clients opted for the monthly subscription-based solution model rather than committing a large investment. The global SaaS market is now pegged at over $100 billion, according to various analyst firms.

For clients, SaaS removes the trouble of installing and running applications on their own computers or in their own data centres. Instead, they pay SaaS providers a subscription fee to access the applications through the Cloud. Companies like Zoho, and Zuper saw demand for SaaS solutions zoom during the pandemic.

Sunil Mishra, Head, Strategy, ANAROCK Group, said that during Covid-19 times, clients, not willing to commit huge investments because of uncertain P&L, opted for SaaS services in a bigger way than committing to bespoke, on-premise, software systems developed for them.

India’s SaaS revenue touched the $3.5 billion-mark in FY2020: Nasscom report

The low-commitment, monthly/yearly subscription-based nature of SaaS lent itself beautifully for such an uncertain environment. “The presence of an on-premise set-up is going away as having everything on the Cloud provides much more agility and no overhead of maintenance cost with the same level of security,” he added.

Praval Singh, Vice-President, Zoho, said the ability to downsize or upgrade the software subscription in an organisation, based on demand, is where SaaS offers excellent flexibility without an upfront capex cost.

“ Zoho CRM saw a 35 per cent growth in active users in Q2 and Q3 whereas Zoho One-software suite, which is also known as Operating System for Business, saw a 36.5 per cent rise in users during the pandemic,” he said.

For safer online meetings

Zoho’s Meeting application has become quite popular during this pandemic in the rush for a safe and secure online audio-video conferencing solution. “We saw over 1,000 per cent rise in daily new users every month from April to June, for Zoho Meeting. Last month, we saw over 300 per cent rise in daily new users,” he said, without giving any absolute number.

Coimbatore-based SaaS company also witnessed a similar trend. During the pandemic, companies offering SaaS solutions have been dealing with a massive influx of people using them to work from home, leading to these enterprises facing issues handling the increase in demand, said Saravana Kumar, CEO and Founder,

The company’s Document360 has seen sales numbers grow by 110 per cent during the pandemic as against last year. The Covid situation is here to stay, for at least another year if not more, and by that time businesses would have experienced the benefit of cloud and SAAS platforms. “Hence the demand for SAAS solutions is bound to increase substantially,” he said.

According to Raghav Gurumani, Co-Founder & CTO, Zuper, “We have seen a 4 times spike in customer acquisition compared to the same quarter last year.” There is a huge momentum for SaaS as organisations are looking to accelerate their digital journey, he added.