Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is one of the largest markets for modern technology, reaching $195 billion this year, demonstrating that this service-based business model has revenue potential for companies.
SaaS has dominated as one of the main pillars of IT services, alongside IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-service) and PaaS (Platform-as-a-service).
However, another term recently appeared, ‘SDaaS,’ which stands for ‘Software Development-as-a-Service.’
SDaaS is hiring software developers on-demand and utilising those services to create custom software applications to reach business revenue goals.
It is now possible for businesses to utilise SDaaS and position themselves and hire a software team on-demand to fulfill their business requirements.
However, what is it, and how can companies leverage its benefits?
What is Software Development as-a-Service?
Most businesses and organisations have their own IT department or development teams, completing daily tasks and ensuring systems and platforms work as they should.
However, this is primarily reactive and only maintains existing software architecture, which, whilst imperative, will not add additional business value as building new enterprise mobile apps would or creating new sustainable software that can meet a company’s sustainability goals.
For instance, your company may want to develop a core number of features and test them for a few months before investing in feature-rich software.
That is when software development-as-a-service or a dedicated software development team is better. SDaaS is more transparent and predictable in costing, so clients know what they pay for and what they can expect at the end of each development cycle.
Helmes’ partnership model is about expanding an enterprise business unit by adding dedicated software engineers who are devoted entirely to your project and do not switch to other tasks.
SDaaS should not be confused with Software-as-a-Service (or SaaS), which refers to a software delivery model with nothing to do with outsourcing.
As an approach to delegating software development, Software-Development-as-a-Service lets companies source a skilled team to handle software development activities outside their location.
Why use Software-Development-as-a-Service?
Software-Development-as-a-Service can leverage many advantages for a company, not only in adding business value. Clients at Helmes provide us feedback on the below as to why they use us for SDaaS.
Helmes’ real expertise is that our business acumen lies mainly in building and managing world-class software development teams, how it creates these teams and makes them work together so that their efficiency exceeds the international average in the field.Meelis Lang, Helmes Group Chief Innovation Officer
Business analysis of the entire business
Helmes is not a technology business; it’s a people business. In companies operating in experience-based enterprises, the people who provide IT services have experience working together in the specific technology and business area for which they develop information systems.
Software development projects don’t fail because of technology but because of inefficient cooperation and failure to understand how a company operates and achieves revenue between people – internally and customers.
Access to skilled software developers
In recent years, the demand for seasoned software developers has only intensified. Even enterprise companies must scrape the bottom of the barrel when hiring solid developers, as cooler startups snatch away the most experienced ones. SDaaS, as a remote-based approach, allows enterprises to source talent globally and build a team with a wide variety of software engineers and system architects.
A mixture of needed skill sets
Helmes can help you add developers from global tech talent pools. We build teams handpicked from programming languages to in-demand skill sets, like IoT, AI, Cloud, Embedded, VR/AR, Computer Vision, Blockchain, and others.
Transparency and scalability
With SDaaS, enterprises pay for tasks and work at their own pace.
SDaaS vendors frequently use the Agile method, allowing them to plan accurate estimates for each software development cycle. Thus, the result is better planning and faster response times in a rapidly fluid business environment.
Nevertheless, please do not confuse the SDaaS model with a fixed-price outsourcing format, in which companies will pay the agreed amount regardless of the hours worked or performed.
A new approach to hiring
Searching, interviewing, recruiting, and adapting the required team members consumes more energy and resources than creating a software product. Reliable software development outsourcing companies provide businesses with the right people as they have a pool of resources.
Helmes offers a development team from which our clients can manually select suitable candidates. Furthermore, they can monitor the team’s progress and decide whether to reduce or increase the number of specialists by your needs.
SDaaS lets you access the skill sets you need and helps you cut the cost of software development. When choosing this approach, we guarantee a flat-rate, transparent pricing model based on a monthly salary of a developer.
Another significant benefit of SDaaS is that the solution provider takes care of all costly amenities of development teams, such as recruitment, IT infrastructure, employee bonuses, insurance, vacation time, HR support, and more. Thanks to this, you can significantly reduce your software development budget.
As your organisation develops, the software architecture may become increasingly high-maintenance, translating to more work for the IT teams. That may lead to shifting the direction of the core team from business to software maintenance.
With Software-Development-as-a-Service, businesses get a scalable team to cover all software needs, like developing new features, handling Quality Assurance and post-launch maintenance. The provider of SDaaS will also take care of your team’s well-being so that you can focus on nothing more than your business.
When you have an idea and are looking for ways to implement it, you require solution finders, not just mere performers. Our SDaaS service can help you bring in people with a problem-solving mindset to create and build innovative solutions. Your team’s know-how and solutions will belong to you, making our approach to SDaaS personal.
Stable, reliable and trusted collaboration
There is a technical talent shortage in many countries globally. Part of the reason is the exceptionally high turnover in the IT industry, meaning that even if our clients locate and hire experienced engineers, the likelihood is that they will leave them within a year.
Our dedicated development team is reliable and committed to the success of our outsourced project. Enterprises do not have to worry about slowing down their progress because by working with a dedicated team, they will experience reliability to keep the project processes going. A team software developer or system architect’s departure will not affect a client’s project because we will replace that specialist with another.
In our 30 years of work, we’ve grown into a company with over 1,000 employees and an annual turnover above €50 million. Developers remain with us because of the unique challenges we offer them, including working on core projects for our global clientele.
Unlike freelance software developers, who usually do not have QA teams, SDaaS software partners like Helmes do. These dedicated QA teams test and evaluate development results after each completed development cycle, run diagnostics tests, and implement acceptance tests only after you get the finished product.
Reduced time to market
IT departments typically focus the core of their energy on maintaining architecture, spend less time improving it, and subsequently lose a competitive advantage when developing new products and services.
Software development products and progress are always faster with a dedicated SDaaS business unit working on one or several projects simultaneously. As a result, enterprises have the highest chance of continued success when launching in the market compared to their competition.
Why Helmes for Software-Development-as-a-Service?
Our way at Helmes is to use agile development methods that ensure the software is functional, can service enterprises, is not overengineered, is environmentally sustainable and energy efficient.
At Helmes, 80 per cent of our work is done for export. Although our clients – like Telia, Kuehne + Nagel, and the OECD – are located abroad, we meet their high standards daily.
Starting the process right is the secret to ending up with great software. We believe our onboarding process is second to none in the industry.
We follow the below onboarding process:
- Initial meeting. At this first meeting, our mission is to get to know our clients and understand the business needs our software will satisfy.
- Quickstart. This two-week process includes three full days at the client’s site (or video call if a visit is impractical), plus analysis and discussions in-house.
- Scope definition and solution design. This is where we propose how to solve the problem. At this stage, we agree on the MVP scope – the requirements and when they should be delivered.
- We present solutions. This is a formal presentation of the solution, where the client is represented by key decision-makers and the person who controls the budget.
- Offer presentation and contract. You might think the contract comes sooner, but there is no point in signing anything until everyone understands the deliverables and costs. Since Helmes guarantees our work for two years, ensuring all the pre-work is done before the contract is signed is good practice.
- Kick-off. At this meeting, we formulate our working agreement. We define the stakeholders and the decision maker and agree on the service level agreement. We agree on development methodology, establish routines like review meetings and collaboration retrospectives, and agree on release planning and Go-Live best practices. At this stage, we define success and how we will measure it.
Success line – avoiding the pitfalls of software development
To start, we use The Helmes Success Line when we meet a client for the first time. It describes the whole Helmes business process, e.g., how we offer and sell our service to the client and how we manage the success of each stage.
Furthermore, at Helmes, our way of working is designed to ensure we do not fall into the common surprises that often plague software development companies.
In our research, we have collaborated with Aalto University to add scientific weight to our concept. We have established quantitative and qualitative reasons why one team is excellent and another merely good or OK.
Based on the quality of work and effectiveness criteria, we are already among the world’s top 5% of companies offering the service of building business-critical software solutions.
Working with Enterprise companies
Several companies work with Helmes because we have Northern Europe’s top nearshore software development teams. Helmes offers tech strategy, service design, software development, and data management, focusing on real and attainable business growth.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Kuehne + Nagel and Telia Finland are a few examples of enterprise companies that trust our success line and the benefits it continues to bring to them.
Always has sustainability in our minds
Those working in software development should think more about the carbon footprint of their lines of code. Outside of specific niches, like blockchain applications, software’s energy consumption tends to receive little attention.
Nevertheless, the fact is that software significantly impacts energy consumption — and, by extension, environmental sustainability. Realising this is why Helmes has become an advocate of sustainable software development.
However, at Helmes, not only do we ensure that building our software has a minimal impact on the environment, our sustainable software engineering concerns, not over-engineering software architecture.
To date, most efforts to make data centres green have focused on optimising hardware (by reducing incidents of overheated servers) and reducing carbon emissions.
Our engineers also focus on writing leaner, more sustainable code that ensures all software processes (not only hardware) are efficient and productive.
Isn’t SDaaS the same as nearshore outsourcing?
Whilst it does appear similar at first glance, however, SDaaS has individual characteristics that set it apart from IT outsourcing, namely:
SDaaS focuses on long-term partnerships, not outsourcing for a one-off project or service. SDaaS is more flexible and scales faster and more efficiently than outsourced IT models.
Thus, new functions, projects, services or concepts can be launched and completed quicker to higher standards, making software development even more valuable to a company’s success.
As a one-off project, outsourced IT work can be cheaper without delving into the business or industry. However, as mentioned above, SDaaS builds long-term relationships with predictable costs that are reviewed and approved in advance. Companies can freely budget and obtain results without the delays associated with long approval cycles or due diligence processes.
Predictable costs are likely to be more than one-off outsourced costs, but the added value and benefit obtained far outweigh the minimalist approach that project outsourcing is.
SDaaS keeps the focus on producing business value
As enterprises seek better business value and aspire to reach ESG goals, their requirements for software development also increase, thus increasing the resources needed to meet these business goals.
There will inevitably be a point where companies will either delegate some of these responsibilities to non-IT members, hire more team members, or hire a software development partner who offers software-development as-a-service.
If businesses obligate non-IT members to test the website or complete other tasks, they may be unable to focus on core operations. If they hire additional people, their budget will suffer, leaving less money for the core function.
A business’s focus on the core business function will shift in both situations.
Using SDaaS mitigates this problem.
- Businesses get a managed solution where the service provider handles your business’s growing and dynamic demands.
- Companies don’t need to deviate from the core business function to improve their digital presence and brand visibility.
Software-Development-as-a-Service is an innovatively curated solution that fuels business growth without eating so much into a company’s operating budget.
Therefore, using SDaaS is an optimum solution. It offers agile development, better technology implementation, and software architecture quality.