The SaaS industry has experienced rapid growth in recent years. Several factors have been attributed to this, including its accessibility, functionality, and versatility.
SaaS has enabled businesses to streamline operational models, creating greater efficiency across departments. Even when businesses turned to remote working setup owing to the pandemic, SaaS tools helped teams and employees to collaborate and manage their tasks efficiently. From a project, design to marketing campaigns, teams can work simultaneously from anywhere and on any device. The combination of a subscription-based model, low friction and internet-based delivery has made SaaS tools valuable for users. This also gives companies the freedom to test and learn these tools before making larger investments in them, reducing the unnecessary risk of investment. Moreover, SaaS tools and applications are driving the democratisation of data through its features like low cost, collaboration, easy access and faster deployment.
SaaS is also steadily taking over the cloud computing market thanks to its ability to offer agility in business processes and cost-effectiveness. The pandemic-induced digital acceleration in the business environment has further emphasized the need for SaaS adoption. According to a SaaSBoomi report, India could be on the cusp of unlocking a $1 trillion opportunity for SaaS companies, creating nearly half a million new jobs by 2030. With the rise of digitization and the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating the process, the Indian SaaS industry is set to capture about 4-6 percent of the global market.
Let's look at some of the trends that will add saas to the Indian SaaS industry in the new year.
Application of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is finding widespread use across businesses. It offers capabilities of optimizing business processes, increasing productivity, and automating daily tasks. AI provides companies with an advanced degree of responsiveness and interaction between businesses, customers, and technology. Undoubtedly AI is proving to be one of the critical factors that are enhancing the SaaS feature. Applying AI to SaaS helps companies to analyze customer behaviour and create a more personalized experience. For instance, Salesforce's best-in-class AI helps businesses analyze customer behavior and deliver seamless and delightful experiences. Moreover, AI's integration into SaaS can help companies augment their threat measures, automate internal functions, and enhance their existing products.
Capitalising on Machine learning
Machine learning is often considered a subset of AI, and it comes with the power of enhancing business processes. When combined with SaaS, ML helps automate responsiveness in customer engagement and applications such as live chatbots powered by AI. From personalization, automation to predictive analysis and enhanced security, machine learning integrated with SaaS is a differentiating factor for businesses. Big SaaS players like Salesforce and Oracle emphasize integrating ML with SaaS to carve a niche in the space.
Low code/No code SaaS
Low code SaaS platforms have been on rise these days. Its ability to allow one to build apps or automate workflows without coding has made it an emerging trend in the SaaS world. Traditionally, building applications involves a combination of engineers and program applications. However, low code platforms provide an environment that can create app software through graphical user interfaces and configuration. This means employees with a non-technical background can bring their ideas to life. The lack of engineers and the rising demand for new products has led to the significant growth of this platform. According to a Gartner report, 80% of programming tasks will be delivered without coding by 2024. In the coming years, low code platforms are going to become widespread and change the whole tech market.
Vertical SaaS is here to stay
We have heard a lot about horizontal SaaS, which focuses on companies across sectors and industries. On the other hand, Vertical SaaS is entirely customizable by targeting brands specific to the industry. Its ability to adapt to clients' particular requirements and cost-effectiveness makes it one of the critical trends in the SaaS industry. Vertical SaaS is growing rapidly because the model offers better solutions for companies who are looking at excelling in a specific field. An example of this would be - Veeva, a cloud-based CRM provider that used this model to scale its business and also attract funding. A report by NASSCOM showed that 500+ vertical SaaS companies have emerged in the country in the last ten years. This has undoubtedly attracted VC funding as 50% of the funding in 2016 went to the vertical SaaS companies. Vertical SaaS provides companies with more flexibility and upselling opportunities and lower customer acquisition costs.
Adoption of PaaS (Platform as a service)
Due to the rapid evolution of the SaaS industry and the increase in innovation, many companies are focusing on customer retention and customer acquisition. This has resulted in organizations moving to platforms as a service (PaaS). It allows businesses to create custom applications that add value to their original benefits. Moreover, its ability to create and deploy applications quickly has made it a great option for developers to launch programs faster. Some of the prominent PaaS options available in the market include Microsoft Azure App Service, AWS Elastic and Google App Engine. The PaaS model allows companies to be more agile and innovative, giving them the time and space to innovate. Its robustness, flexibility, and accessibility provide businesses with the ability to scale their operations. As a result, many companies are adapting to keep a stronghold on their niche. This SaaS trend will indeed dominate in the coming years.
Enhanced Mobile Optimization
The era of instant gratification has come. Everything is just a click away, thanks to the rapid penetration of mobile technology and the internet. Mobile optimization is becoming increasingly important as more SaaS companies adopt a mobile-first approach. SaaS providers will focus on mobile-first design, including personalization, intuitive features, task optimization, in-app user feedback, leveraging AR and VR for an immersive experience, and many other features.
These are some inspiring SaaS trends that hint at the enduring future of the industry. As companies adapt to a cloud-based and data-driven existence, software innovation will remain vital. SaaS will be an increasingly convenient and affordable option for companies in a digitally dependent world.
Authored By Kalpit Jain, Group CEO, Netcore Cloud