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Top 7 SaaS Trends to Look Out For in 2021

6 min read

What is SaaS? Why is it everywhere you look these days? Well, you’re not the only one wondering. SaaS or Software as a Service is a new model of business within the tech industry and in recent years, it has positively exploded!

SaaS leverages cloud computing to provide access to software products over the internet, mostly as a subscription-based service. By licensing software on a subscription basis, a SaaS company is able to create an extremely sustainable and scalable revenue model. You can read more about SaaS development.

In turn, the customers of a SaaS company are able to access advanced software at a low upfront cost without having to worry about hosting, updates and maintenance.

Today, SaaS seems to be dominating the tech market in big ways. The demand for cloud computing and cloud-based software services has exploded hugely. Let us talk about the reasons why SaaS is exploding and also look at some top SaaS trends that are likely to dominate the tech market in the near future.

Why is SaaS Exploding?

So we know what is SaaS but why is it exploding right now? The main reasons for this sudden boom has to do with the four unique advantages offered by SaaS and cloud computing: accessibility, ease of collaboration, cost-effectiveness and scalability.

1. Accessibility

A big factor in the explosion of SaaS services has been the mobility and ease of access that they offer. This came to be seen as a major bonus by a lot of companies during the COVID pandemic which made remote workspaces the widespread norm. Cloud based SaaS software can be used from anywhere in the world and on any device. SaaS also takes away the hassle of maintenance and updates away from the user. This hassle-free ease of access has made SaaS extremely popular and successful among both corporate and non-corporate users.

2. Ease of collaboration

The demand for project management software is booming and nothing provides better solutions for that than SaaS services. The pandemic has prevented the collaboration and communication that an office typically offers.

Expanding globalization has also increased the need for collaboration between offices, employees and consultants who may all be living in different parts of the world.

Demand for software that enables employees to share their work, get feedback and collaborate in real-time, has skyrocketed. This demand has been to the advantage of many SaaS companies.

Zoom, Slack, etc. have seen exponential growth in the past few years, especially during the pandemic.

3. Cost-effectiveness

The possibility of using software as a subscription service rather than buying it outright may not seem very cost-effective on its face but the reality is different.

Most SaaS services offer flexible payment plans so that users do not have to pay for the full functionality of the software unless they choose to do so. Users can simply choose to pay for the level of functionality that they actually need or what is useful for them.

This makes SaaS more cost-effective than building in-house software platforms, especially for small businesses.

4. Scalability

SaaS services have the advantage of being extremely scalable.

The cloud-based nature of the platform allows for an incredible amount of mobility and flexibility in how and where the software is used. Flexible payment plans allow for companies to choose a level of functionality that they are most likely to use and then scale up with the expansion of their own business.

This makes SaaS products uniquely suited for enterprises at all levels and scales of business. Zoom can handle a small, local webinar just as well as it can handle the video conferencing needs of big businesses.

Top SaaS Trends of 2021

1. AI Integration

Artificial intelligence has changed the tech industry forever. Machine learning and algorithms have made it possible for software applications to be incredibly accurate and incredibly personalized.

A very good example of this is the B2C SaaS company Spotify which has gained near supremacy in the market of music streaming. Spotify’s AI allows it to learn listening preferences and tailor its recommendations accordingly.

This high level of personalization offered by Spotify through personal playlists, discovery and recommendations has allowed it to revolutionize music streaming. This is what makes Spotify the most popular music streaming service in the SaaS market today.

Low-Code SaaS

A lot of small and medium-sized businesses are moving online today. However, not everyone has the skills to build a website or develop a web app from scratch to support their venture.

Low code and no code developer platforms are an incredibly handy way of solving that problem. We see this in the rise of website builder platforms. SaaS company Pixpa, for example, offers creators, creative professionals, and businesses an easy and all-in-one platform to build their website without touching a single line of code.

Vertical SaaS

Unlike Horizontal SaaS that targets consumers from a wide range of demographics, industries and sectors, vertical SaaS is hyper-focused and specialized for the needs of a specific niche of consumers. This allows them to create products that are uniquely suited to the specific needs of their customers.

MedPortal is a HIPAA compliant platform that helps doctors track, analyse and prognose the mental health of their patients. By focusing on this niche market MedPortal is able to provide unique functionality and specialized services that no other application can. As personalization becomes the mantra, vertical SaaS is bound to explode.

PaaS (Platform as a Service)

PaaS services offer their platform itself as a product to their consumers. PaaS empowers customers to build custom applications and dedicated software through their platform. Just like with vertical SaaS, the increased demand for customizability, personalization and flexibility has led to the explosion of PaaS services.

More and more consumers are willing to spend the time to build websites, software and extensions that are perfectly crafted for their needs rather than make do with general purpose software products. Website builders are, once again, good examples of PaaS products.

Mobile Optimization

According to statistics, 92.6% of all internet users access the web through mobile devices. This trend is only set to increase as smartphones become more and more accessible and ubiquitous.

Increasing mobile penetration means that a mobile optimization is no longer just an option but mandatory for software developers.

Mobile optimization, better mobile features, responsiveness and functionality improves user experience and increases the product’s reach.

The necessity for mobile apps and mobile-friendly platforms is becoming inescapable and we will definitely see that reflected in SaaS trends.

Micro SaaS

A micro SaaS company is one that is run by a small team to ensure low cost, niche focus, and is usually bootstrapped.

Micro SaaS companies look for gaps in the market where they can offer specialized services and a personalized approach for their customers.

A micro SaaS company is able to keep its costs low and profits high due to its small size making it an incredibly cost effective revenue model.

Since the main product in SaaS is a cloud-based software rather than a physical commodity or service, it is possible to keep the team small while still maintaining maximum reach.

API Connections

For any business the shift from pre-existing software systems and tools to something new is not an easy one. This is especially true for big businesses where upgradation or change of software involves large-scale changes and measures across different locations and devices.

If there is a way of harmonizing existing software with the new one instead of moving all of the data to the cloud, it will always be the preferred option. This is where API or Application Programming Interface comes in. API allows companies to integrate cloud based platforms with their existing software.

As more and more companies move to cloud-based SaaS platforms, the need for API connectivity to bridge the gap will only increase. This definitely a SaaS trend to keep an eye on.

Conclusion

While SaaS is not exactly a new kid on the block, the recent boom it has seen is in large part thanks to the proliferation of cloud-based computing services and API connectivity.

The tech market is in a constant state of flux because of the fast rate at which both software and hardware are evolving and the increased consumer accessibility of advanced technologies.

As SaaS evolves further it is also likely to become more and more accessible, cross-platform, personalized, and adaptable.

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