Cloud Topics

Top 10 SaaS Trends You Should Know About

By Nicole Lim / Sep 24, 2020

Top 10 SaaS Trends You Should Know About

Turning to SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms can help reduce the tensions associated with time, money, and resources for businesses from all industries. The software allows companies to do what they do best, and not worry about locally managing software solutions. Delivering on-demand computer services in an instant-gratification era, SaaS is projected to bring in $307.3 billion by 2026, according to a PR Newswire report.

Among the benefits of SaaS solutions are:

  • Lower costs: SaaS generally runs off a subscription-based platform with IT infrastructure that’s already built, enabling lower costs.
  • Compatibility and scalability: Being hosted in cloud marketplaces, SaaS is often compatible and scalable with other SaaS products.
  • Ease of use: Lastly, SaaS is easy to use as it can be accessed remotely, features high levels of customization, and entails updates that are handled by its providers. Many SaaS marketplaces will allow providers to deliver support including training and troubleshooting, making it easy to onboard new users and work through any challenges.

AI Algorithms and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the top trends affecting SaaS marketplaces. AI algorithms and machine learning, for instance, serve many purposes to companies using SaaS. The presence of these technologies allows for customization, analytics, and security — just to name a few of their benefits. AI, for instance, can be used to analyze mass quantities of data generated from customer interactions. That data can then be translated into meaningful information, letting companies make informed business decisions. Modern-day businesses must understand that each customer has their own unique behavior and that a one-size-fits-all method will not work as well as customization. This very factor is one of many that should go into the decision as to whether to build or buy a software platform.

Companies considering SaaS should also take advantage of AI for security purposes, especially given the increase in cybercrime and data breaches threatening businesses. AI allows for the detection of cyberattacks before they impact a software system. Detecting problems before they arise may save a company lots of money in the long run.

API Connections

Accessible APIs are critical for the integration of software applications. Consider different departments in a business. If the finance department is using one software solution and the research department is using another, integration can be difficult. An API streamlines integration, acting as an intermediary between the two departments and their respective systems or databases. Businesses looking to run operations smoothly definitely want to prioritize the use of APIs. This software intermediary makes it easier for customers to integrate data, keeps lines of communication open between departments, and is highly extensible.

Platform Unbundling

Instead of crowding the market with bundles of already-existing products, businesses are opting to tailor services to their customers’ unique needs. Platform unbundling, as it is called, allows for greater personalization and enables a user-friendly approach. Core services can be repackaged as an API alongside a collection of easily selectable add-ons.

White Labelling SaaS

White labeling occurs when a product or service is produced by one company and then rebranded by others. It is a legal process, granted both parties agree to it. Companies selling white-label SaaS can keep their logo and trademarks on the services, but allow the business buying it to use their own IP. This trend has become popular as it enables SaaS companies to enhance their branding and save on product development costs. However, it requires solutions that allow white-labeled support or virtual help desks so that end users have adequate support resources.

Vertical SaaS

When SaaS was created, companies focused on providing solutions that spanned multiple industries. This is what is referred to as horizontal SaaS. Over time, that focus has shifted to prioritize one industry at a time. Vertical SaaS companies, in other words, target niche industries such as healthcare, energy, or real estate. Focusing on only one industry enables a company to become leaders in one niche, instead of spreading their resources thin across several.

Micro-SaaS

Micro-SaaS is a term used to describe a small business run by only one person or a very small team. Targeting a niche market, these businesses are high-margin and low-risk. They receive no outside funding and have a narrow focus. They are, as the name implies, a miniature version of a SaaS business.

A common reason for the development of a micro-SaaS company is to create an add-on for a popular app using the appropriate digital commerce platform. These types of solutions solve a specific problem for a specific group of people. Another reason is due to them being location-independent. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection. Micro-SaaS is perfect for people who wish to travel the world, work on an app with someone who lives far, or simply work from home.

SaaS to PaaS

Migrating to PaaS (Platform as a Service) can be very appealing given the high levels of competition within the SaaS market. A major advantage of leveraging a platform service is the reduction of costs. PaaS enables companies to focus their time on building apps and services rather than on purchasing and managing the apparatus for custom-made products. In cutting down the costs associated with custom-made products, PaaS also allows companies to cut the time and resources that go into developing them.

Mobile-First SaaS

Adapting services to a mobile-first SaaS approach is critical considering the times. According to a Pew Research study, “it is estimated that more than 5 billion people have mobile devices, and over half of these connections are smartphones.” Another mobile phone ownership study by Pew states that, “The vast majority of Americans – 96% – now own a cellphone of some kind. The share of Americans that own smartphones is now 81%.”

In a portable age, optimizing services for mobile devices is key. Mobile devices allow companies and employees alike to perform critical functions of their job from any location, at any time. Software providers have an excellent opportunity to adopt this mobile-first mindset and meet a demand that is only expected to keep growing.

Thought Leadership

A thought leader is a person with the talent, experience, and passion for their business. Thought leadership implies answering customers’ questions thoroughly whether directly or through a blog. It is a key aspect of content marketing, as well as an effective way for software companies to be transparent and accessible.

According to a WGP study performed in January 2020, “only 24% of SaaS businesses publish content to educate or enlighten.” Given the competitive landscape of SaaS, offering educational content is one way to gain the attention of new and returning customers alike. Resources can be provided by means of blog content, video, interactive apps, or even eBooks. Software providers, for instance, could benefit from offering their audience content on what a subscription commerce business model is, how it works, and when it is most applicable. Ways in which to demonstrate thought leadership are plentiful and unique to each company’s offerings.

SaaS and Remote Work

As remote work becomes the new norm, software providers are in a great spot to optimize their services to suit this audience. Several of the trends mentioned above are an excellent starting point for adapting services to a remote workplace. Taking a mobile-first approach, for instance, is essential to offering services to employees who work from home or on-the-go. Remote-enabled SaaS tools are critical for companies wishing to keep up with the growth of remote work. Read our guide, Seven Strategies to Enable Remote Work Success, on how providers can help their customers make the transition to telecommuting.