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SaaS vs In-house vs Clone softwares - Which one should you choose for your on-demand business?

SaaS vs In-house vs Clone softwares - Which one should you choose for your on-demand business?

Updated on June 02, 2022
10 min read

For on-demand startups and businesses, it is essential to have the best-automated solution for you to effectively run your business. SaaS-based solution, in-house made solution, or clone software solution? You have to understand the pros and cons of each of them to select the perfect fit for your on-demand business.


The software industry is booming with growth as new services, new business models, and new startups are popping up every day. Users now prefer digital services. There is an increasing demand for digital, technology-based services.

With this, parallelly there is also an opportunity for on-demand businesses to leverage the emerging technologies and the increasing pool of young professionals proficient in software development.

As of Q2 in 2021, the value of global consumer spending on mobile applications was USD 34 billion. There is a rapid rise in business automation across sectors such as retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and transportation. Specifically in on-demand businesses, software development has become very important.


There is a huge demand for web and mobile applications. Almost all businesses and service providers are opting for digitization and automation.

Major Development Models

Currently, some of the major development models available in the market are:

  • SaaS-based solutions
  • In-house development
  • Clone softwares

Let us see how all three types work..

SaaS (Software as a Service)

Software as a Service is a software licensing model in which the customer gets a subscription-based, centrally hosted software that is delivered over the cloud. It is considered a part of cloud computing and can be typically accessed by users through a web browser.

The global software as a service (saas) market was valued at about $134.44 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to $220.21 billion at a CAGR of 13.1% through 2022.

It has become a common delivery model and has emerged as one of the most prominent ways that on-demand businesses choose a software product. Other businesses use it for functions such as CRM, accounting, payroll processing, management information, enterprise resource planning, invoicing, human resource management, etc.

In-House Custom Development

In-house custom development means getting custom-made software for your on-demand business by the in-house team at hand. You don’t get any external resources and all the developers are employed by you.

In-house development does not require an external resource as all the engineers are working for your specific project.

Clone Software Development

Software cloning does not necessarily imply copying but it precisely means to take the same architecture of software and use it for your own service. A ready-made clone script with the customization and white-label is simple to release.

Popular websites which are in reality clone, Facebook – One of the most famous social media systems that everybody is using these days has been in reality a clone. There are many clone apps available in the market of Uber, Airbnb, etc.

For some of the on-demand businesses such as on-demand delivery businesses and on-demand taxi businesses, clone software is like getting a clone of uber or zomato, etc.

Comparison between Saas, In-house, and Clone

Areas of comparisonSaaSIn-houseClone
Costing and financeAffordable and low costHighly expensive due to complete in-house projectAffordable and economical
Time to launch in the marketCan be launched quicklyWill take long duration of timeDepends on the project
Source Code OwnershipNo source code ownership is givenEverything is owned by the companySource-code based development
Business ConsultingBusiness and industry related consultingVery limited domain related consultingAt some level, consulting is there
Staffing and expertiseHighly skilled with expertise in a specific domainVast knowledge and skills but limited domain expertiseDevelopers with basic knowledge
Customization of featuresVery limited customization of the featuresComplete customization of the solutionCan be customized upto a certain level
Support & MaintenanceComplete round the clock tech supportVery limited tech and maintenanceTech support available upto some level

Costing And Finance

Finance and funding are an extremely important part of any business, especially ones that require development. Emerging on-demand businesses and startups are now leveraging technology for providing smart solutions.

The cost of single and multi-tenant SaaS is low compared to in-house or clone-based solutions. The operations cost of in-house solutions is fairly high due to having to hire resources and getting infrastructure for only one single project.

In clone software, the costs are relatively low but if you are cloning a high-end software, the costs will go up significantly.

Time to launch in Market

It is important for new on-demand businesses and startups specifically to be able to launch their products in the market quickly. SaaS-based software solutions have the core ready.

They only need to add the requirements and the documentation given by the clients. So SaaS-based solutions are usually ready-to-launch in the market.

An in-house solution is created from scratch. The core is created, the architecture is decided and the project takes a long time to create the final product. Thus, the time to launch your on-demand business in the market becomes delayed.

When it comes to cloning softwares, the time to market your on-demand business is not less and not more. It is not something to be started from scratch but it does not have the core ready either. It has an entire product ready for cloning.

Staffing And Expertise

SaaS software development would get you the specifically skilled developers in any of your chosen technology. You can select the developers on your own for the type of project that is to be delivered for your on-demand business.

In SaaS-based software, you also get a domain expert working specifically for your industry products.

In-house software development you have fewer chances of getting experts offering. You have only the team that you selected on the payroll for your software development. There is a very limited number of options for your requirements.

For clone software development, the chances of getting experts at certain technologies are not low but not high either. You get the entire copied, cloned version of the software that you require.

Customization Of Features

In SaaS-based solution, customization based on your on-demand business needs is possible but very little. Not complete customization but based on the core of the product that is usually available, you can get a few features changed, added, or removed based on your business requirements.

In-house software development gives you complete control over customization and modifications. You can define from the start everything that is required in the kind of software you want to be making and get complete creative control. This way, your on-demand business will get complete customization.

Clone software development does not give you the option of complete customizing. A clone software is a complete clone or a copy of an already existing software and thus no changes are included in your agreement but customization is possible if you add it to your requirements.

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Support & Maintenance

When it comes to SaaS-based solutions for your on-demand business, you get a complete support and maintenance team for your software. If you require any changes done, any bug fixes, any tech support, and the maintenance of your software, you will get complete help.

In-house software development does not come with the perks of having tech support and product maintenance. The project is completed and delivered and that is it. No further support or maintenance is there. If yours is an on-demand startup, you might have to rely on no support, maintenance and work with the product delivered to you.

When you get a clone software developed, the service provider completes the project and delivers it to you. Once that is done and payment is done, they do not owe you any other service. This is why there are medium chances of tech support or maintenance of any kind for your on-demand business.

Source Code Ownership

When it comes to having your own on-demand startup and business automated, you would want to own the complete delivered product.

In SaaS based solutions, you do not get the ownership of the source code of the software. If you want it, you have to pay extra for it.

In an in-house solution, you own everything from the source code to the rights, to the final, finished product.

In a clone software, the solution is developed specifically for you and thus you get the ownership of the source code.

Business Consulting

If you are an on-demand startup, any consulting and guidance that you get is better. If you are an on-demand business, even then, getting consulting is always beneficial.

In a SaaS solution, you always get business consulting for your on-demand services for free along with the services.

In an in-house team of developers for a software, you will not get consulting as they are not interested in helping you propel your business. Their job is to complete the software and deliver it to you.

When it comes to clone softwares, you get sessions for business consulting also.

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Which software development model should you choose?

We have seen the advantages and disadvantages of all three different types of software development models that are available in the market. Out of them, the one with the most benefits was SaaS.

SaaS-based white-label applications are perfect for your on-demand business and or startup. If we look at the comparison with different models of getting software development,

SaaS-based development helps in:

  • Cutting costs
  • Comes with regular updates
  • Customization is also possible
  • You get support & maintenance
  • Can be launched in the market faster

Although it has its own benefits, SaaS-based software development also lies somewhere in the middle of in-house custom development and cloned software development. It comes with benefits from both the other models.

You get the expertise of the developers and get the end-to-end, entire software delivered to you along with your requirements. You don’t have to pay the additional costs and it comes with a ready-to-launch product.

For on-demand startups, this is extremely essential that they go for a SaaS-based software model for their businesses as on-demand industry is revolutionizing the face of delivery business. They have less funding and higher risk which is why a cost-effective model that allows them to launch their products faster is the best alternative.

For on-demand businesses also, the migration time is less for a new SaaS-based solution rather than going for an in-house development that takes time or the clone-based software that will also take time in cloning and uploading. In SaaS-based solution, the core is ready and implementation is the only process left after which you get the login and access to it.

Especially since the Covid-19 pandemic, on-demand delivery businesses are witnessing an unprecedented growth when it comes to demand and revenue. This opportunity can be leveraged by getting a software-based solution for your business.


All businesses and startups, especially on-demand delivery services, require a ready-to-go product for launching into the market. They need a reliable and cost-efficient solution for their business.

Different types of models are suitable for different businesses but for on-demand delivery business models, SaaS-based software systems are the perfect fit.

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Mushahid Khatri

Mushahid Khatri is the Chief Executive Officer of Yelowsoft, one of the leading taxi dispatch and on-demand delivery solution providers. He is a visionary leader who believes in imparting his profound knowledge that is leaned on business and entrepreneurship.

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