As the adoption of cloud computing continues to grow each year, software-as-a-service (SaaS) models are becoming increasingly popular among organizations. It is safe to say that SaaS tools are the fastest-growing segment in the information technology space. The flexibility and cost-effectiveness make it an attractive option for companies of all shapes and forms.
The arrival of the pandemic has proved to be fertile ground for the growth of the SaaS industry. As more and more companies turned to remote working models, the demand for SaaS saw a stupendous growth in the past couple of years.
In this article, we are going to discuss how cloud computing has emerged as a promising technology and also talk about the most noteworthy SaaS trends for 2022.
The rise of cloud computing
Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, cloud integrations were gaining momentum across businesses. The pandemic catapulted the adoption of SaaS and took it to a whole new level. In many ways, the pandemic served as an eye-opener for a lot of companies, who are now favoring the cloud space over on-premise models.
Software-as-a-service or SaaS is not new. It is safe to say that it is treading through the middle ages at the moment. However, studies have shown that it is still very relevant in today’s technology space.
According to Gartner, SaaS is still in the pole position in terms of adoption among other cloud services. In fact, SaaS is on course to grow by around $138.2 billion in 2022 . When it comes to versatility, accessibility, and functionalities, SaaS continues to remain a viable alternative, especially in vulnerable business environments.
One of the main reasons why adoption levels are increasing is the cost-optimization it provides for projects based on the cloud. The future of SaaS looks very promising due to the giant strides taken by information technology (IT) with the arrival of business intelligence (BI) and artificial intelligence (AI).
SaaS-based AI tools are increasingly embraced in untapped markets, particularly in companies that are looking to streamline their business models. Medium-sized companies and large enterprises are on the prowl for new software solutions that can boost productivity.
Here are some of the SaaS trends that are likely to become popular in 2022 and beyond.
1. Vertical SaaS for niche requirements
Horizontal SaaS primarily focuses on clients, whereas vertical SaaS models explore the possibility of tapping clients via customization across industries and supply chains.
Today, enterprises are predominantly focusing on rebranding themselves as specialists instead of ‘jack of all trades. Developments and progress in vertical SaaS are allowing them to add more customizations via industry-specific and economical solutions.
2. Business intelligence embedded for white-label SaaS
At present, startups are increasingly turning to white labeling as they are confident that this approach will enable them to get more market share with minimal financials.
White labeling enables enterprises to sell a well-rounded and optimized platform to other companies. This is how startups are likely to benefit as they do not have to create solutions right from scratch.
Software companies that sell white-label platforms underwrite by generating new ROI streams. They also market themselves as the primary developers of the platform.
3. API connectors to fulfill SaaS boom
As the demand for SaaS continues to grow at a rapid pace, there is an evident gap between the need to and the capabilities that are able to handle the integration of solutions into current business systems.
It is important to note that not every company wants to migrate its entire on-premise operations to the cloud. However, those startups that want to integrate SaaS solutions into their existing systems require APIs to manage legacy systems and offer security against data breaches.
4. Machine learning for automated responses
Machine learning (ML), a branch of artificial intelligence, is transforming SaaS in more than one way. Today, SaaS is super-responsive and has the ability to automate onboarding powered by AI chatbots. You can read about the benefits of live chat software for businesses. The current generation of ML is primarily focusing on reducing internal operations with innovations.
ML-based SaaS models are expected to enhance internal collaborations and also slice and dice information more efficiently. Machine learning innovations are also enabling new solutions to learn from past interactions to gain enhanced levels of efficiency and intelligence.
5. Centralized analytics
Digital transformation can be seen across all industries. These digital transformation examples will give you a fair idea about in which direction the pendulum is swinging.
As digital transformation sweeps across an array of industrial sectors, businesses are looking to dive deeper into streamlining how they collect, use, and save customer data. Data analytics has become an integral part of service-based software companies as they are reluctant to make decisions without data.
Centralized analytics is expected to dig out hidden data such as performance dashboards. Since SaaS models have a pre-built centralized nature, it makes all future business processes more transparent.
6. Low-code structures to improve the core functionality
SaaS models have progressed to ‘low-code structures that allow startups to make the most of their SaaS solutions with very little technical expertise. Although low-code structures are not expected to replace developers, they will streamline the integration of aligned tech.
This opens up new avenues for the technical brains and allows them to invest more time in innovations.
Future is SaaS(y)
The future of SaaS is expected to feature a lot of data-driven decisions. A lot of vendors are focusing on integrating smart data and business intelligence while creating service-based solutions. This is why the cloud computing sphere will witness an influx of practical and futuristic cloud solutions.
As cloud computing continues to make its presence felt across the globe, the SaaS industry will also grow at a steady rate.
Apart from the convenience, SaaS solutions are very affordable across various industries. Additionally, the AI plugin makes it a force to reckon with, especially while building solutions that are backed by smart data.
To learn more about SaaS and other cloud computing services, you can also read the difference between SaaS, PaaS, and Iaas.
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 (2020) “Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud End-User Spending to Grow 18% in 2021” Gartner [online] Available from: https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-11-17-gartner-forecasts-worldwide-public-cloud-end-user-spending-to-grow-18-percent-in-2021?ref=hackernoon.com [accessed October 2021]