Innovation and technology go hand in hand, so naturally, SaaS companies have always had to deal with ever-growing competition in their fields. There is always someone on the horizon with an idea to tackle older solutions, or there’s an IT giant coming up with creative, cost-effective software systems that can replace outdated versions in a heartbeat.
However, with the pandemic changing how the workplace is perceived and how businesses everywhere operate, SaaS companies have had to deal with an emergence of another set of challenges.
Software companies have embraced remote work as much as they’ve empowered it over the past several years, but even with that kind of preparedness, some issues have become more prevalent than before. Here, we’ll list those issues that software companies face specifically when targeting a global audience, so that you can brace yourself and prepare your business properly when you’re ready to hit that seemingly endless market.
Bridging the cultural gap
What may seem like a simple matter of software functionality is, in reality, a much more complex issue for multicultural markets. In one fell swoop, you risk insulting an entire region if the images, wording, or integrations of your software are deemed inappropriate in any way for a specific area in the world. Even though the software might otherwise be considered a success, the element of culture will make or break your business presence.
For instance, certain social media outlets are preferred in one region, while they are forbidden in others, making them obsolete in your global strategy. Then comes the moment of truth once you find the channels where your target customers reside in each region: what are the most appropriate ways to address them, not alienate them?
The same issues arise when you need to translate your website into different languages and present your software to the new market. The in-software language and visuals you use will differ depending on the part of the world you wish to sell your software to.
Security and data protection
Software development is complex enough even without the notion of global development and growth. The ever-evolving technology not only empowers your own software company, but also the hackers who are continuously coming up with new ways to stifle business growth.
Another vital issue related to security is the fact that software companies operate on the cloud – it enables remote collaboration and international partnerships, but it also carries the risk of cyberattacks if not handled properly. As a result, more software companies need comprehensive AWS cloud management to ensure safe collaboration, business growth, and data security. The most effective way to prevent cloud-related issues is to have experts handle your cloud infrastructure, so that you can focus on the rest of your security protocols and your overall security policy.
Each country and region has specific security requirements for software operations, but also for data protection. Meeting those requirements is vital for the success of your business, and of course, for preventing legal issues and lawsuits in case a data breach does occur.
- Empower your legal team to prepare your business for a global market from that security perspective.
- Offer clear information on your site about the kind of security measures you’re using within your software, for all markets to see.
- Continuously work on advancing your security, and that includes educating and training your employees as well as your external partners on what needs to be implemented for your entire business to operate safely.
Adapting your prices
The starting point for any software business includes defining the price range that makes your brand competitive, but also ensures that your company can survive in this oversaturated industry. Determining that price, unfortunately, means that your software will likely be appealing to a limited part of the global audience – unless you can adapt.
If the version of your software designed for that new market can come at a more acceptable price, perhaps you can become a valuable asset in that region, and potentially outgrow local businesses.
Location-specific legal regulations
Setting up your company in your country of origin has already had its own slew of processes and requirements. You need to ensure the needed capital, register your business, potentially patent your solution, follow employee-related regulations, and not to mention the details such as copyright and other legal essentials. The beauty of the global market? They all differ from one country to another.
To put it simply, in order to register your business in new markets and build specific, local branches for your software company, you’ll need to restructure your organization over and over again. With those unique regulations in mind, a software company needs to make sure compliance at every turn. There are other, related issues to consider:
- Does your software have location-specific functionalities that will be disabled for different regions?
- Are you able to build marketing strategies to match the expectations of local audiences?
- Does your company meet the security requirements for each target market?
- Do you have the resources to provide multiple versions of your software for different markets in order to adapt to their unique regulations?
- Do you have reliable partners in the new, international markets to collaborate with effectively in order to market your product properly?
- How do you plan to regulate updates, software maintenance, and most of all, customer support for each specific location across the world once you publish your software?
As you can see, the legal, compliance, and functional issues tend to multiply when you add more global markets into the mix. That is why software companies, which can ill afford to limit themselves to a single demographic, need to plan ahead for such issues and prevent them with expert help and location-specific partnerships.
Running a software company in this day and age means a chance for a lucrative business, but also one that needs to remain relevant and visible in a sea of competitors emerging on a global scale. Whether or not your product is remarkable in any way, patented or not, you still need to build your global presence knowing that others with similar offers will show up to the playing field sooner or later.
To build global relevance for any software solution, your business needs a detailed, yet flexible strategy with all the listed factors accounted for and tackled. Preventing organization-wide issues can help you make sure that your brand remains an industry authority in the eyes of your international audience, hopefully, for the long haul.