What does “open source” mean?
“Open source” is a phrase that refers to something that can be modified and shared by anybody. The word is most commonly used when the source code has been made publicly available when it comes to software.
The term promotes open exchange, cooperation, transparency, and community-oriented software development. So it’s simple to see how this may be a fantastic opportunity for many companies.
How to use open-source to make a SaaS product
- Use Open Source Frameworks or Libraries
An open-source framework is a collection of software development templates created by a community of developers to accelerate the software development process. So, what’s next?
An open-source framework could save you time by allowing you to develop a complicated user interface without writing the code from the start. However, it’s crucial to remember that when you use an open-source framework, you adopt the tools and practices that come with it.
This can be beneficial, but it also means that you must choose carefully to ensure that you end up with a solution that is completely tailored to your needs and objectives. Leveraging open-source can make your software team’s job much easier by requiring them to write less time-consuming code.
They can concentrate their time and energy on generating code for functionality particular to your product if they employ foundational principles from libraries or frameworks.
These basic features can help your product stand out in the fast-developing SaaS industry, making it more valuable and unique.
- Make Use of Open-Source Products That Already Exist
This is distinct from the use of open-source frameworks and code. It is usually fully legal and possible to take an existing open-source product and build on it to develop your commercialized software product. In this case, we’re talking about adapting the entire software package.
Fortunately, fully functional open-source products are available and ready to use. Using an existing product might save your developers a lot of time; in some cases, 80% or 90% of the code they’ll need has already been written.
There’s a good chance that nothing else out there will meet your demands, but if it does, this is a fantastic solution worth investigating.
- To Complement Your Business, Use Open-Source Products
“Something that fills up, completes, or makes better or perfect,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Who wouldn’t want to improve their product, right?
Imagine you’ve written most of your code from scratch, but you still need to add a few non-core, auxiliary functions to complete your product. Finding open-source code for these additional features may be the best option, as it will save you a lot of time.
Consider the case where you’re developing a business communication service and need to add some content creation capabilities. You might look for pre-existing content creation-related code and save time, money, and effort.
- Contribute to Open Source to Build Your Brand
So far, we’ve discussed how you can improve your product by incorporating existing open-source software. You can also contribute to open-source projects by making some of the code you’ve produced for your software product open-source in the spirit of community and collaboration!
Although it may be a waste of time and effort, it is always beneficial for software developers to establish their reputations. It can also help you create brand awareness if they are related to you. In addition, people enjoy generosity and sharing, and you’ll be assisting the software community by writing much-needed code or solving problems that arise frequently.
Advantages of using open-source to create SaaS business
- Speedier delivery of features
When done with a clear vision and skilled engineers, using open-source software often speeds up the delivery of new features. In addition, your team creates significantly fewer lines of code, which means they have far fewer lines of code to test and maintain.
Faster delivery offers more revenue opportunities. It also helps you save money on your engineering team because you get a lot more out of fewer engineers than you would otherwise. Engineers are typically high-priced team members. Thus, this is significant.
Most importantly, faster features mean you can give your consumers more value sooner. You also have a better chance of delivering reliable features to them rather than merely hacked-together MVP features.
- Visibility of the ecosystem
Using and contributing to open source projects connects you with people worldwide who are dealing with similar issues, developing parallel applications, and maybe quite similar to you. In addition, this participation will assist you in locating and collaborating with new partners, as well as potential competitors.
Using open-source software allows your staff to become immersed in the ecosystems you operate. This is useful for hiring, marketing, and ensuring that people know who you are and what you do.
This is particularly true if your product is technical and your market to engineering personas.
- Maximizes capital efficiency
The word “capital efficiency” refers to how much value a company generates for the dollars invested in it. You may compare it to a return on investment (ROI). This is significant for investors since capital-efficient organizations are often better stewards of their cash. They’re also more fundamentally sound enterprises.
When you use open-source software in your SaaS solution, you can deliver more value less time and for less money. However, it implies that you (kind of) grow your staff beyond your payroll. In addition, it means that you incorporate outside-of-the-company innovation.
All of these factors contribute to a company’s capital efficiency. But, at the same time, most investors aren’t concerned with the specifics of which open source projects are funded or why they will appreciate that their money is stretched further.
Industry standards like SaaS and open source are gaining traction. However, companies may utilize these tools to build more vital enterprises faster if they understand how to use them together and align tech operations more closely with the business.