The SaaS industry has been growing impressively fast over the past few years. Numerous trends have disrupted it, from the evolution of artificial intelligence to the rise of data security threats. While some of these trends have come and gone without making a profound impact on your business, others have altered the SaaS ecosystem for good.
Here are a few powerful SaaS trends you should implement fast.
The Implementation of AI
Artificial intelligence has become a serious game changer over the past few years. Gartner emphasizes that 37% of organizations have already implemented artificial intelligence in some form. Moreover, experts predict that 80% of emerging technologies will have been built on the AI foundation by 2021.
In 2020 and beyond, AI will keep disrupting the SaaS industry in a variety of ways:
- Automating business processes: As a SaaS company, you will collect large amounts of data and turn it into actionable steps. When done by humans, these processes usually require lots of effort, time, and manpower. That’s where AI steps in, allowing you to streamline many customer experience activities and boost customer service responsiveness. For example, with AI-powered chatbots, you will respond to customer inquiries in real-time.
- Personalizing customer experiences: Apart from segmented email campaigns and chatbots, artificial intelligence also goes hand in hand with features like natural language processing and voice control. These features will help you track user behaviors, provide targeted user experiences, and maximize customer satisfaction.
- Greater cybersecurity: For SaaS businesses, data security is critical. That’s where AI helps a lot, as it recognizes patterns, assesses human factors, and uses machine learning. Apart from just analyzing potential threats, AI is capable of learning different hacking methods and preventing them on time.
The Rise of Vertical SaaS
The majority of SaaS companies focus on providing some general services to their clients, such as collaboration platforms, billing, accounting, sales, and so forth. While this approach might still work for them, it’s usually too broad. Casting the net wide and targeting customers within different sectors is what we know as horizontal SaaS.
However, as your customers expect more specific, industry-oriented services, your SaaS business should switch to the vertical model. In other words, SaaS businesses should focus on targeting customers within specific industries and with specific needs. For example, this could be ecommerce analytics, software for insurance industries, healthcare analytics tools, etc.
One of the greatest benefits of vertical SaaS lies in the fact that these service providers can easier adapt to industry trends and clients’ demands. Vertical SaaS providers can collect industry-specific customer data ad intelligence, learning more about their specific needs. This helps them deliver more relevant and personalized services and maximize customer satisfaction and retention.
The Adoption of the Mobile-First Approach
Mobile technologies have become increasingly sophisticated, meeting the needs of both individual and corporate users. Tech brands and telecommunications companies focus on making mobile phones available to different customer segments. Given that, it’s not surprising at all that the number of mobile phone users will keep growing in 2020. Research predicts that about 73% of the global population will browse the internet using their mobile phones.
With the rise of wearable technologies, IM software, and social media apps, people can now communicate with their peers in real-time, irrespective of their location. Companies are also migrating critical aspects of the business to mobile devices. They’re using collaboration tools, project management platforms, video conferencing tools, and cloud storage to automate their tasks and save time. They empower employees to use mobile dashboards to track their data efficiently and communicate in real-time. Research says that 91% of workers use at least one mobile application. As a result, companies that encourage mobile app adoption will boost workplace productivity by 23% and employee satisfaction by 14%.
Unsurprisingly, more software companies will switch to mobile-first design and development. By optimizing their software for smaller screens, they will enhance user experiences and generate a higher ROI.
The Increasing Need for APIs
With the rise of SaaS solutions, the need for Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) keeps growing. While some businesses decide to move their entire business operations to the cloud, others will decide to integrate the cloud with their existing systems.
In the past, SaaS providers redirected their clients to third-party providers that offered specific APIs and helped them integrate the cloud platform into their existing system. However, this approach may harm user experiences. Benoit Lheureux, vice president of Gartner, emphasizes that “redirecting your customers to a third-party for integration solutions when integration is a requirement in every IT project of substance is falling short of meeting your customer requirements.”
Precisely because of that, many SaaS providers decide to design sophisticated integration capabilities themselves rather than redirect users to third-party companies.
The Growth of Micro SaaS
As the SaaS industry is evolving at an astonishing pace, SaaS providers need to find new and innovative ways to gain a competitive advantage and stand out. One of the greatest trends dominating the SaaS market is the growth of small SaaS businesses, called micro-SaaS companies. They run by one person or a small team, while their products are targeted add-ons to existing platforms. The main goal of micro-SaaS companies is to address the issues related to the existing SaaS platforms and boost their users’ experiences.
Small SaaS businesses are perfect for those entrepreneurs that want to carve out a small, but stable market share, maintain positive cash flow, and have a chance for a successful exit.
Over to You
SaaS trends are growing at an astonishing pace and show no signs of slowing down. To gain a competitive edge, you need to keep pace with these trends and capitalize on them. And, I hope that these five tactics will help you give your SaaS business a boost.
What SaaS trends do you focus on?