Today, the software as a service (“SaaS”) industry constitutes an important economic sector in cyberspace. Numerous brick-and-mortar businesses (and Internet companies) rely upon cloud-based and subscription software services to support their activities. The Gartner company predicts SaaS cloud applications alone will furnish $143.7 billion in value by 2022. This industry offers both B2B and B2C services today.
Reportedly, Microsoft remains the leading firm in the field at this time. Analysts project continued growth during the coming years. Several challenges and opportunities should emerge within the SaaS sector in 2021. Consider just five of the most significant trends:
Exploiting Opportunities in a Post-Pandemic Economy
The global coronavirus pandemic imposed hardships on numerous businesses during 2020. However, the crisis actually created new marketplace opportunities for SaaS providers. In the United States, businesses forced to utilize remote office workers sometimes relied upon SaaS providers to remain fully functional. In addition, some SaaS programs assist companies in conducting far-flung field operations.
Additionally, the pandemic reportedly spurred several previously brick-and-mortar retailers to place a renewed emphasis upon generating online sales. Similar changes occurred on an international level.
Adjusting to Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning
One of the most important opportunities for companies engaging in the SaaS industry continues during 2021. A growing number of software engineers currently use Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) to augment their programs. As a result, SaaS providers employing AI enjoy greater opportunities to enhance the value of their products to businesses and consumers by furnishing personalized information. This predictive capability facilitates the rapid processing of real-time data flows. It holds a variety of important security benefits, also.
In this connection, machine learning as an aspect of AI will likely continue to spur growth in this field. SaaS programs offering the ability to learn from past experiences permit the creation of highly responsive computer programs. Companies marketing an array of services, including customer relationship management programs, find this capability helpful, for example.
Catering to Online Small Business Needs
Another significant opportunity for firms in the SaaS industry this year will likely appear in the form of specialized programs tailored towards specific market niches. Some analysts have noted the first SaaS marketing efforts centered around basic business services with broad applicability, such as accounting or personnel software. Now, a new generation of applications offers customized assistance to smaller ventures engaging in disparate fields.
For example, some SaaS developers have created software programs geared towards distinctive niches, such as church management. These tailored applications help many small enterprises automate their daily operations more efficiently. This type of “vertical integration” remains an important ongoing trend in the SaaS industry.
Optimizing Mobile Access to SaaS
Many leaders in the SaaS industry view this disparity as a significant growth opportunity. Creating programs accessible to customers using mobile devices poses yet another way to expand sales in this marketplace. In addition, ongoing optimization of software to better serve the mobile market will likely prove important during 2021.
Migrating to Platform-as-a-Service (“PaaS”) Models
Another trend that may prove important this year relates to the rapid growth in platform-as-a-service (“PaaS”) providers within the SaaS industry. This movement encompasses developing “add-on” services for existing SaaS programs marketed to customers by third parties. It also includes the creation of customized platforms for businesses as a “White Label” service.
A transition towards cloud-based services has possibly accelerated this trend. In addition, it appears PaaS services promote greater customization (and personalization). This trend ultimately increases customer satisfaction.
Adapting to Rapidly Changing Technologies
Perhaps more than many other economic sectors, the SaaS industry continues to transform and change with the emergence of new technologies. A rapid transformation occurred within this industry during the past decade, as companies adjusted to the unprecedented spread of mobile devices. As a result, businesses in this field appear well-positioned to enjoy significant opportunities to prosper during 2021 and beyond!