Software as a service (SaaS) is part of a trio of cloud services that help 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.
This article will explain step-by-step what software as a service is, how to learn SaaS, and will list some of the best online SaaS classes and training. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about this kind of cloud computing.
What Is SaaS?
Firstly, to understand SaaS, we need to go over the basics of cloud computing. The cloud provides businesses with on-demand computing resources, improving data storage and computing performance by using the Internet. It saves businesses money because they do not need to hire a team for hardware and software management.
The most common use of the cloud is SaaS, which is used to host applications. You may even have some of the most popular SaaS-based apps in your own web browser. SaaS applications include Google Drive, Google Docs, Gmail, Salesforce, Slack, Dropbox, and Zen Desk.
Why Use Software as a Service?
SaaS is best thought of as any work-related or organizational tool that can be found through the Internet. Businesses use them for many reasons.
Firstly, they use SaaS because it is a pay-as-you-go service, so it is cheaper overall.
In terms of flexibility, a cloud service like SaaS is incredibly valuable. Team collaboration can happen from anywhere in the world where there is an Internet connection. As such, SaaS has become even more valuable in 2020 when remote work has become a necessity.
The last two bonuses to using SaaS are: 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.
What Are the Most Popular SaaS Apps?
There are many SaaS applications, so we have compiled some of the most popular. Take a look below to get an idea of what SaaS business applications are, and why they are used.
- 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 software for businesses is Slack, 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. Its use is significant in content creation careers, like Trello. It helps employees see what jobs they need to do, and allows workers to post them directly when they are finished.
- Google Apps. This may be the most used web-based application of all. Everything from 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 businesses to create invoices, making billing easy. Freshbooks is also a great tool for helping medium-sized businesses make invoices and contacts, and log work.
- LongTail Pro. For those creating online content such as videos, articles, and blogs for work, this is a must. LongTail Pro’s software helps you discover long-tail keywords to optimize your work, thereby improving its ranking on Google search engines.
- 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.
- 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 coding.
What Are the Differences Between SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS?
Among the three cloud computing models, software as a service, infrastructure as a service, and platform as a service, there are several key differences. Let’s go through them here to get a better understanding of what each should be used for.
As we have explained, software as a service refers to a web-based take on traditional software. SaaS is meant to host quick and easy software to help boost productivity and day-to-day tasks. It is particularly useful within Customer Relationship Management (CRM), as many CRM models use SaaS.
Infrastructure as a service is like renting a data center from a cloud service provider, but instead of having traditional on-premise servers, networks, and storage, it is all on the cloud. This means that all a business needs to buy are the pay-for-what-you-use services. Think of IaaS as a virtually-created machine.
Platform as a service provides a platform for developers and companies to create, test, host, and deploy applications. It 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.
Learning Software as a Service
There are plenty of online resources and classes to guide you through SaaS. You can learn everything from how to build and develop software, to the more simple task of learning the software. Keep reading to see the best courses to discover some great resume building certification classes.
How Long Does It Take to Learn SaaS?
This question is tough to answer because it depends on what you are trying to learn. For those learning software development, it could take a few months to a few years, as you will need to learn how to code. If you are just learning to use the software available, it could take as little as a few days.
How to Learn SaaS: Step-by-Step
For this learning SaaS step-by-step guide, we have decided to look at the necessary steps from the perspective of someone aiming to implement a software as a service product. Allow us to guide you along the way.
- Research. The first step is researching the market to discover what SaaS products are already out there and to make sure yours will fill a gap in the market.
- Build a Strategy. Without a good strategic plan, it would be hard to produce a piece of software. Plan each detail of the project, consider the scope, the types of team members you may need on board, and gather your ideas.
- Create a Landing Page. Think of this as your proof of concept, something to show potential employees. It is also a chance to test run your idea before beginning the development process. You can either hire a programmer to do this for you or use a website builder tool.
- Hiring People. You can either hire whole teams, if you have the funds, or start with just a few key members. The key employees you cannot do without are a developer and perhaps a co-founder of your business. You can then pass your plans and ideas to your developer, who will create your SaaS product for you unless you are already a developer.
- Prototype Development. For this, you will need someone with software development and design skills to build a model of the software.
- Deployment and Marketing. Once your product is complete, you can begin marketing it digitally. The use of content marketing, social media marketing, SEO, and other digital marketing can help boost awareness about your SaaS model.
The Best SaaS Courses and Training
There are lots of ways to learn SaaS, including reading books and blogs, or taking online courses and free classes. Browse the list below to begin your SaaS learning journey.
Best Online SaaS Classes
Below are some of the best online classes and training for a range of SaaS skills. These apply to anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of SaaS and to those looking to use it to develop software.
- Time: 36 Minutes to 10 hours
- Price: $16.88 to $25.98
These affordable Udemy classes are perfect for business owners, programmers, or software developers. Students will explore KPI’s, metrics, business marketing with SaaS, programming languages, cold calling, and mass emails.
- Time: Varies
- Price: Varies (First month is free)
These are good classes and tutorials to help you get a basic understanding of software as a service. Learn about software licensing, SaaS vendors, and core concepts, as you earn a certificate that will be shared right on your LinkedIn profile.
- Time: 12 Weeks
- Price: $640.71 to $908.43
These Future Learn courses get straight to the heart of valuable SaaS business skills. Students will get Salesforce, Tableau, or Xero training. Each course also offers micro-credentials that will help you access the cloud skills needed to break into cloud computing industries.
Google Digital Garage
- Time: Self-paced
- Price: Varies
Google provides these courses 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.
Best Free Online SaaS Training
Below are a few free SaaS-related 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.
Google Digital Garage
- Time: Self Paced
- Price: Free
Google Digital Garage offers free courses to help you learn how to boost your workplace productivity with cloud collaboration tools. Master prioritization to maximize your efficiency. It also has a free programming basics course where you’ll learn about coding languages and how coding can help you achieve specific tasks.
- Cloud Computing: The Big Picture
- Time: 1.40 hours
- Price: 10 days free
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.
- Introduction to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies
- Time: 14 weeks
- Price: Free ($200 for certificate)
This online course is provided by The Linux Foundation, a leader in open-source content. In it, students 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. 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 is an updated version of the book, which is intended for sales teams. It teaches you the SaaS Sales Method which is all about building your sales, marketing, and customer service success.
In this book, Aaron Ross explains the template that the world’s fastest-growing companies are using to accelerate their growth.
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, and how they can be applied to business models, virtualization, mobile, and security.
Rapidly Scale Your SaaS Business, by Nicholas Brown
This book promises to explain how to get paying customers, drive traffic to your site and keep visitors there for longer, and help secure investments or sales.
Best SaaS Learning Resources
The Internet is not only there for SaaS. Below are some extra resources to help you get a firmer grasp on SaaS, marketing, and even coding.
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.
FreeCodeCamp is a great resource for learning coding, but you can also search SaaS on the website to learn tips and tricks that are specific to the cloud hosting service.
Seth Godin’s blog is full of interesting content that is fun, honest, and quirky. Browse through his blogs on marketing, writing, politics, pop-culture, and software.
Should You Learn SaaS?
It would be a surprise if you have not already started using an SaaS application. For most software, it has become part of our daily lives. If you have not begun using any SaaS app, then taking some SaaS courses might be a huge benefit to your career or business.
Popular applications such as Gmail, Google Docs, Slack, and Longtail Pro are a perfect place to start. Learning these can boost your resume and help you create a more efficient business.
We hope this article has shone light on the advantages of software as a service (SaaS). We wish you well your learning journey and hope using SaaS software will help propel you and your company to great heights.