Why SaaS Localization Matters


What is a SaaS—or Software-as-a-Service—company? A SaaS company is one which hosts an application through its own servers, and in this way makes it available for customers to use, typically, through a website. This availability often comes in the form of a subscription plan and provides customers with a greater deal of mobility, as they are able to make use of the software on the go. Furthermore, since such companies maintain all of the software, servers, and databases themselves, the system is easy to update when needed. Likewise, the necessary IT expertise required to maintain all of the above has already been invested in, which in turn makes troubleshooting any potential issues relatively straightforward.

Localization, in turn, is the adaptation of your product from one cultural market to another, accounting for the differences between them. This includes, especially, language translation, but also any necessary technical and regulatory modifications of your content in order to end up with a product version that is more accessible and natural for users of other nationalities and cultures. Naturally this is a process which demands particular care and attention, and SaaS products fall into the category of services which require such localization to the extent that they hope to expand their target market.

According to a Forrester report, 56 percent of consumers are less concerned about the cost of a service than they are about receiving the information in their own language, while a study by Harvard Business Review found that 42 percent would never purchase products and services in languages other than their own. These studies took European countries as their focus, but this is an issue which is relevant even within a country such as the U.S. where, in a survey carried out by the U.S. Census Bureau, 22 percent of Americans reported that they do not speak English at home, and another 8 percent reported that they do not speak it well. This trend provides a significant enough incentive for companies to seek out localization, and it follows that it is important to hire a company with a provable track record. For example, we can consider a company such as Trusted Translations, whose specific expertise in localizing content for the U.S. Hispanic market speaks to the delicacy associated with translating content for a group made up of many different nationalities and distinct cultural backgrounds from different continents.

Software localization adds a further complexity to the issue, as one might expect. The localization must not only convey the correct information to consumers, but it must also preserve the integrity of the software itself; i.e., it cannot interfere with the software’s proper functioning. This process must then be managed into the future to keep up with potential updates. This calls for a translation company with the resources to provide translations which rely on accurate technical language.

Any company hoping to expand their horizons by taking advantage of consumers from other cultural markets will find that localization is key to keeping up with competitors, and even outpacing them insofar as they are the first to truly open up in that way. Partnering with the right LSP and localization expert to handle your content is a crucial step in this, and we at Trusted Translations have many options available to help you meet and exceed your SaaS localization goals or any other language-related needs.