The digital age and technological innovation have opened the door for more flexible and accessible web-based solutions, inviting more and more organizations to utilize software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools, such as Salesforce, Slack, Zendesk, etc., to optimize processes and fast-track their operations.
SaaS has moved forward from being seen as technological innovation. Scratching the surface unravels its key characteristics: accessibility, flexibility in types of features and payment options, collaborative functions, and security, which qualifies it as a working business model.
This superior delivery method has made the global SaaS industry proliferate with no signs of slowing down. It’s said that 64% of small and medium businesses will commit to cloud-based technology as a means to boost workflow productivity in 2019. While a recent report reveals that 73% of organizations say nearly all (80%+) of their apps will be SaaS come 2020.
10 Game-Changing SaaS Trends for 2019
The SaaS ecosystem considerably evolved in the past years and will only progress as technology advances. Businesses operating within the trade will find it hard to stand out in this highly-saturated industry. Stay up-to-date and check out these latest trends to stay ahead of the competition.
1. Un-bundling is In
Soon, it will become a common strategy to offer core services such as an API together with a suite of tools, rather than offer a full-featured service. This gives SaaS providers the ability to deliver well-supplied, focused services to keep afloat in an overcrowded market.
2. Custom Integrations
The unceasing debate over horizontal (operations-focused) and vertical (industry-specific) models will see a convergence soon. While each model has its own purpose, advantages, and disadvantages, it’s clear that neither is superior.
In this data-driven marketing age, you can witness SaaS applications moving towards the do-it-all approach, enabling the integration of third-party apps and current business solutions, making SaaS applications targeted but not industry-specific. This will only encourage more businesses to join in on the trend and push for open connectivity in the coming year.
3. Pricing Strategy
SaaS businesses leverage on utilizing flexible pricing structures. You can provide the option to only pay for any particular feature clients may need; or optimize pricing methods for a month, three months, six months, or one year.
4. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Like other industries, SaaS is being unsurprisingly tapped by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies. In 2019, it’s projected that businesses will develop and adopt machine learning-as-a-service (MLaaS) into their roster of web-based solutions.
Software companies who plan to embed intelligent applications into their business operations will want to select the fitting AI platform to create their service. The demand for MLaaS will continue to grow, which is why choosing the best cloud-computing provider is vital to this step.
5. Jump to Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
One popular trend that’s widespread in the industry is the shift from SaaS to PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service). SaaS maturity encourages businesses to look for other ways to retain and grow their customer retention rates. A fantastic way to achieve this is to convert to PaaS, which allows clients to choose and create add-on apps to the original products. This scalability mainly enhances their overall experience with the service.
6. The Rise of Micro-SaaS
Since the industry is getting highly-saturated and the number of players continues rising, the competition is naturally heightened. That means in 2019, SaaS businesses and new players will try their luck in connecting to new prospects with micro-SaaS. These types of businesses don’t get outside funding but can have high margins, low overheads, and be location-independent.
Tyler Tringas of Storemapper defines it:
“A SaaS business targeting a niche market, run by one person or a very small team, with small costs, a narrow focus, a small but dedicated user base, and no outside funding. Hence, micro-SaaS.”
7. A Mobile-First Approach
A survey from a financial company concluded that 43% of small business owners use their mobile devices to maintain their business. This calls for SaaS companies to concentrate on the mobile side of things. Since their services initially started as web or native apps, the task to provide a seamless mobile experience that is superior to their counterparts is vital to their success.
8. Standalone Features
SaaS systems are more flexible compared to on-premise solutions or larger legacy software packages and products. Product development and research teams are always experimenting on combining and adding new features, tools, and plug-ins to their services to accommodate their clients’ requirements.
Standalone products can further improve flexibility as systems will be susceptible to custom manipulations and will let companies create apps at a fraction of a price. Additionally, open API architectures will allow connectivity alongside minimal coding, which implies that any app can work in any software environment.
9. The Focus is on Customer Success
Like any other business, SaaS companies put their clients first. As the competition intensifies, the goal to deliver a richer and more valuable experience for your clients will become a company-wide effort. Revenue and customer loyalty will follow as you continue to focus on customers.
Guiding them in making the most out of your SaaS software or service not only increases usage but also feature adoption (if service offered on free trial).
10. The Rise in Free Trial Strategy
Speaking of free trials, this strategy will continue to rise. Free models eliminate customer apprehension in investing and committing point-blank. 61% of SaaS businesses offer variations of these as it is proven effective for customer acquisition.
Summing It Up
SaaS technology has cemented its remarkable position in the B2B cosmos. Given that, it’s about time to face 2019 with new technologies and forward-thinking game plan to advance in this increasingly growing space. Before making any significant steps, it is best to know where to pivot, invest, and innovate.
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