Software as a service (SaaS) cloud-based software model that makes it easy to share software that helps boost productivity online. Unlike platform as a service (PaaS) or infrastructure as a service (IaaS), the SaaS model is perhaps the most widely used in businesses and daily life. You should learn SaaS if you want to build a new app, but also if you are curious about how apps work.
This article will explain step-by-step how to learn SaaS, with a list of some of the best online SaaS courses and trainings. Whether you’re an app developer who wants to learn SaaS to be more hireable or an entrepreneur with a big idea for a new software business venture, this article will help you get started.
What Is SaaS?
SaaS is a way of distributing software through cloud computing instead of installing it directly onto computing devices. The cloud provides on-demand computing resources and improves data storage and computing performance by using the Internet. software as a service means that users access software stored on a remote server rather than owning it on their device.
SaaS uses the cloud to host software applications. You may even have some of the most popular SaaS applications in your own web browser. Some common SaaS applications are Google Drive, Google Docs, Gmail, Salesforce, Slack, Dropbox, and Zen Desk.
Why Use Software as a Service?
SaaS can be less expensive than traditional software because it is a pay-as-you-go service. Other SaaS benefits are that there is no need for lengthy installations and the software automatically updates. From a practical perspective, you won’t need any technicians to install or update systems, as the cloud does it automatically.
A cloud service like SaaS is flexible, and it allows teams to collaborate from anywhere in the world with Internet access. SaaS has become even more valuable in 2020 when remote work has become a necessity.
How to Learn SaaS: Step-by-Step
There are plenty of online resources and classes where you can learn SaaS. You can learn about SaaS basics or you can study more advanced topics like how to build and develop a SaaS application. For our step-by-step guide to learning SaaS, we’re focusing on learning how to implement a software as a service product.
There are lots of ways to learn SaaS online and offline. You can take free or paid online SaaS courses, you can read books and blogs, or you can watch short videos. Browse the list below to begin your SaaS learning journey.
Best Online SaaS Courses
Below are some of the best online classes and trainings for a range of SaaS skills. These courses are for anyone who wants to learn SaaS fundamentals and for those looking to develop software and build their own SaaS applications.
- Time: 1 to 12 hours
- Price: $19.99 to $84.99
These affordable Udemy classes are perfect for business owners, tech sales representatives, programmers, or software developers. Students will explore key performance indicators (KPIs), business marketing with SaaS, programming languages, and SaaS sales.
- Essentials of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Business
- The Build a SaaS App with Flask Course
- How To Startup Your Own Software As a Service Company
- Lead Generation for SaaS Sales
- Time: 1 to 4 hours
- Price: $19.99/month to $39.99/month
These courses will give you a basic understanding of software as a service. Learn about software licensing, SaaS vendors, and core cloud computing concepts, and earn certificates that will be shared right on your LinkedIn profile.
- Software as a Service
- Azure: Understanding the Big Picture, What is Software as a Service?
- Learning Cloud Computing: Core Concepts
- Microsoft Azure Fundamentals: Compare IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS
- Salesforce for Customer Service
- Time: 1 to 12 weeks
- Price: Variable
These Future Learn courses, co-developed with Microsoft and Amazon, get straight to the heart of valuable SaaS skills. Each course also offers micro-credentials to show future employers that you have specific skills needed to break into cloud computing industries. Some of these courses are equivalent to academic credits at participating UK universities.
- Cloud Computing for Beginners
- Cloud Computing Practitioner with AWS Academy Cloud Foundations
- Programming Essentials with Python: Cloud Technology and SaaS
- Microsoft Future Ready: Introduction to Azure Cloud for Data Scientists
Google Digital Garage
- Time: 10 to 40 hours
- Price: Variable
Google and the University of Illinois provide these courses through Google Digital Garage and Coursera, covering in-depth cloud computing concepts. The first two are for intermediate-level students looking to gain a better understanding of PaaS for machine learning and infrastructure. The last class is beginner-friendly and covers cloud computing concepts.
- Google Cloud Platform Big Data and Machine Learning Fundamentals
- Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals Core Infrastructure
- Cloud Computing Concepts, Part 1
Best Free Online SaaS Training
Below are a few free SaaS-related training courses that could be a great start for your cloud computing learning journey. These classes will give you a taste of whether software as a service is right for you and learn about SaaS for free.
Google Digital Garage
- Time: 1 hour
- Price: Free
Google Digital Garage offers free courses to help you learn how to boost your workplace productivity with cloud collaboration tools. It also has a free programming basics course where you’ll learn about coding languages and how coding can help you achieve specific tasks.
- Time: 2 hours
- Price: 10-day free trial
This online class taught by David Chappell is an excellent beginner course on cloud computing. With the 10-day free trial, students can learn all the basics of SaaS and cloud platforms including Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.
- Time: 14 weeks
- Price: Free ($149 for certificate)
This online course on edX is provided by The Linux Foundation, a leader in open-source content. Students in this course will get an introduction to building and managing cloud technologies. They will also learn about network and storage solutions, plus all the next-generation cloud technologies.
Best SaaS Books
If you want another option for gathering information about SaaS, books are a great alternative. The best SaaS books can teach you a wide variety of SaaS topics, from technical instruction on how to build a SaaS app to business advice on how to build a profitable SaaS product. See our software as a service book selection below.
Blueprints for a SaaS Sales Organization: Design, Build & Scale a Customer-Centric Sales Organization by Jacco Van Der Kooij
This updated SaaS book is intended for sales teams. It teaches you the SaaS Sales Method which is all about building your sales, marketing, and customer service success. This is one of the best SaaS sales books because the text has useful information for both complete beginners and more experienced SaaS salespeople revisiting the material.
From Impossible to Inevitable: How SaaS and Other Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross
In this book, Aaron Ross explains the template that the world’s fastest-growing SaaS companies are using to accelerate their growth. Ross simplifies the lessons from the most successful SaaS companies and shows you how you can use these insights to improve your own SaaS business.
Cloud Computing: A Complete Guide on the Concepts and Design Of Cloud Computing by Jason Hoffman
Jason Hoffman has authored this complete guide to SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS frameworks with descriptions of how each framework can be applied to different business models. The book also gives a description of what kinds of jobs you can get as a cloud specialist.
Rapidly Scale Your SaaS Business by Nicholas Brown
This book promises to explain how to find new customers, drive traffic to your site, keep visitors on your site for longer, and help secure investments. It covers lots of basic business and marketing topics and how they apply specifically to SaaS businesses.
Best SaaS Learning Resources
Beyond books and courses, the Internet is full of other ways to learn about software as a service. Below are some extra resources to help you get a firmer grasp on SaaS, from marketing a product to coding an app.
Explore the plethora of free videos YouTube has to offer for SaaS-related learning. This is a wonderful resource to learn just about anything that strikes your fancy. Keep in mind that anyone can post videos to YouTube, so make sure you are learning from trusted channels run by experts.
FreeCodeCamp is a great resource for learning to code, but you can also search for posts on SaaS to learn tips and tricks that are specific to cloud hosting services. There are over a dozen in-depth articles, including The SaaS Handbook, a free detailed guide to building a SaaS product.
Once you get to a stage where you are developing SaaS software, you’re going to need a place to go to ask specific questions when you get stuck. Stack Overflow is a great forum for all kinds of programming problems. Search for the topic you need help on to browse previous question and answer threads or post a new question.
What Are the Differences Between SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS?
SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS are the three different cloud computing models, software as a service, infrastructure as a service, and platform as a service. While they are somewhat related, there are several key differences between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. Let’s go through them here to get a better understanding of what each should be used for.
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Software as a service refers to a web-based take on traditional software. SaaS means software that is hosted by a remote server rather than on your computer, and most SaaS products are quick and easy apps that are used to boost productivity or organize day-to-day tasks. It is particularly useful within Customer Relationship Management (CRM), as many CRM models use SaaS.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is like renting a data center from a cloud service provider. Instead of having traditional on-premise servers, networks, and storage, all of it is on the cloud. This means that all a business needs to buy are pay-for-what-you-use services. Think of IaaS as a virtually-created machine.
Platform as a service (PaaS) provides a platform for developers and companies to create, test, host, and deploy applications. PaaS is popular among software developers who create apps. It is platform-ready, so all you need to do is buy the platform and get to work.
What Are the Most Popular SaaS Apps?
There are many SaaS applications, so we have compiled some of the most popular. You will definitely be familiar with a few of the services on the list. Take a look below to get an idea of what SaaS business applications are. These examples will help you understand what distinguishes a SaaS platform from regular software applications.
- Zoom. If you are not familiar with Zoom already, it is a video software similar to Skype. During the pandemic, the use of Zoom has become widespread for business meetings.
- Slack. Another popular SaaS application for businesses is Slack app, a messenger service that helps teams communicate. Its features include group discussions about work projects and one-to-one chats with team members.
- ClickUp. This is an organizational and productivity tool to keep teams focused on their tasks. It helps team members see what jobs they need to do, visualize the workflow, and upload completed projects.
- Google Apps. This may be the most used family of web-based applications. Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Drive are commonly used to help businesses communicate, create documents, and share files.
- FreshBooks. This is an example of invoicing software on the cloud. It is a great way for small to medium-sized businesses to create invoices and contracts, making billing easy.
- LongTail Pro. For those creating online content such as videos, articles, and blogs for work, LongTail Pro is a very important tool. LongTail Pro helps you discover long-tail keywords to optimize your work, thereby improving its ranking on Google.
- Canva. This is an incredible tool for creating resumes, producing marketing materials, social media designs, and any other type of design you may need to help grow your business. It’s an online editor that you never need to install directly on your device.
- Squarespace. There are plenty of website builders online, but Squarespace is one of the fastest-growing. It helps you create stylish and functional websites without the need to learn how to code.
Should You Learn SaaS?
SaaS is so powerful that you have probably already used one or more SaaS applications for work or personal reasons, like Gmail, Google Docs, Slack, or Zoom. Now that you know how common SaaS apps are, it’s easy to see how taking courses to learn SaaS could be a huge benefit to your career or business.
With SaaS courses, books, and other online resources, you can learn how to build your own SaaS product and start a successful business. Understanding SaaS is also a great asset for careers in tech sales, software development, and app development.
Learn Saas FAQ
This question is tough to answer because how long it takes to learn SaaS really depends on what you are trying to learn. For those learning software development, it could take a few months to a few years, since you will need to learn how to code. If you are just learning to use available software, it could take as little as a few days.
What are the best SaaS certifications?
The best SaaS certifications are Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certification, Microsoft Power Platform App Maker, and Google Cloud Certifications. AWS Certifications come in four different experience levels, and these SaaS certifications cost between $100 and $300.
Is SaaS hard to learn?
SaaS isn’t hard to learn at all. SaaS is a different framework from traditional software, but the key software-building skills like coding don’t change much when moving to a SaaS framework. SaaS applications are designed for daily use with the end user in mind, so they are usually easy to learn.
What are some examples of SaaS?
SaaS applications are everywhere. Some famous SaaS examples include Zoom, Slack, and Gmail. SaaS is so powerful because it makes software cheap and easy to distribute. Other SaaS product examples are employee time-tracking programs like Hubstaff or ClickUp.
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