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2022 is the beginning of the end for SaaS 1.0; No-Code is the Future

By Jag Lamba, CEO of Certa

No one is denying how impactful SaaS point solutions have been to the enterprise in recent years. When we think about enterprise software today, there's no getting around it-it's SaaS we think of, by default.

And until very recently, SaaS experienced great success; the model was needed to get our businesses out of the run-everything-on-Excel stupor it had been in for far too long. For a tech company, there wasn't a much clearer, more effective business model than "find a business function still running on spreadsheets and take it online." Add in some reporting functions, some basic (or advanced!) analytics and some workflow features, and you were off to the races.

But with the proliferation of SaaS point solutions, what we call SaaS 1.0, we started seeing not only the limits of this model, but some outright downsides. Portal fatigue is real, and a significant problem for productivity. Having to log in to multiple applications to get a simple business task done? Not ideal. So what's next? How can we move into something more ideal, better built for the businesses of 2022 and beyond?

No-code software is the next evolution of SaaS. No-code is SaaS 2.0. With no-code software, users can create custom applications for both web and mobile and digitize entire complex business processes with a simple drag-and-drop function. The solutions use dynamic data models, workflows, and in-app reporting systems to provide flexibility that current SaaS point solutions can't compare to. And because they're tied to broader problems that can then be customized by a user to fit with specific use cases, the ability for no-code software to solve any given business problem is much higher than traditional SaaS solutions.

Let's dig deeper into the biggest reasons no-code software will be the future of SaaS:

Continuous improvement

Businesses aren't static. They're dynamic, evolving entities that need to change to stay relevant in the marketplace. That's in part what made SaaS 1.0 so successful; it made it easier for product updates to roll out. No-code is the next step of that evolution, where it's easier for software developers to continuously update their products and push them out to users, so those users can always have the best version of the software at hand.

Quick deployment in phases  

Again, deployment speed is another factor that SaaS improved over on-premise software but will be improved further with the advent of no-code software. The first phase of no-code software can be deployed within weeks and the client can update it easily. This speed is especially evident when deploying adjacent use cases with the same no-code solution.

Greater flexibility

Every business is unique, and solutions that can adapt to the business (and not the other way around) is the way forward. With SaaS 1.0 point solutions, users needed to change the way they worked to accommodate the way the software functioned. Sometimes this requires a minor change, but sometimes changing a work process across an entire enterprise is a steep mountain to climb. It creates major issues in deployment and implementation, but no-code solutions are flexible enough that they can be configured to fit the processes a business already has in place, so no one needs to change the way they work if they don't want to.

Templates for best practices

With no-code solutions, vendors can inform enterprises about best practices for usage and offer templates for multiple of the best practices out there. With SaaS 1.0, you got one best practice, and that was it-you had to hope it was the best one for your business's situation. We can do better. And it's cheaper for SaaS 2.0 to update their templates than it is for SaaS 1.0 providers, which will lead to more frequently updated (and thus, the most timely) templates.

Extensible to adjacent use cases

As you solve one problem, it's common for another problem to make itself known in adjacent areas. With current SaaS solutions, the only answer was to find yet another software option that could address this new issue. This ends up being costly and a further contributor to portal fatigue. But no-code solutions are extensible, and can easily be added to in order to address the newly-discovered problem, no need to start over with a new solution.

Easier integration

In addition to worries of portal fatigue, any new SaaS 1.0 solution needs to be carefully vetted to make sure it works with the digital environment a business has built for its employees. It's often a coin flip on whether it'll work or not; if not, sorry, that solution is probably not an option for your company. On the other hand, many no-code tools come with powerful integration engines that will create a unified platform for users that seamlessly integrates with enterprise ecosystems already in place.

Humans became the dominant species because of our propensity for constant improvement, and our ability to share knowledge and progress as a community. No-code is the natural evolution of SaaS. And yes, on-premise software will still exist, as will traditional SaaS. But it will be in corner cases that call for that specific setup; an outlier, not the dominant flavor of enterprise software.

When we think of SaaS in the future, it will be the no-code version we'll be talking about.




Jag Lamba is the founder and CEO of Certa. Jag grew up in Bombay, India, and studied computer science before kicking off his career as a software engineer. After moving to the U.S. and transitioning into Product Management, he began pursuing his MBA from Wharton while working at McKinsey, eventually moving into its strategy consulting practice. Jag founded Certa in 2016 with help from Techstars and angels. 

Published Monday, January 24, 2022 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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