Technology is one of the driving forces behind innovation in today’s world. Despite the current volatile global economy, the rate of digitization is constantly accelerating. With businesses increasingly integrating cutting-edge technology into their operations, SaaS (Software as a Service) has become an integral part of their day-to-day function.
While the SaaS model has been around for three decades, it has become increasingly popular over the past few years. As remote and hybrid working models become the norm worldwide, more and more companies have shifted key business functions to the cloud. Considering the increasing weight that businesses are giving to cloud migration, it’s essential to be aware of the ever-evolving trends in the SaaS sector. Here are some key trends to expect this year:
Greater adoption of SaaS tools by small and medium-sized businesses
SaaS tools have witnessed a steady increase in adoption by companies across verticals, especially large ones. These applications are generally specialized and meant to be used by functional teams such as SalesForce for sales and go-to-market teams or Workday for human resources professionals. Today, even smaller businesses are gradually shifting to leverage SaaS tools. It has become possible thanks to the new generation of SaaS tools that harness artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics that understand users’ profiles and adapt to what they need. It’s highly likely that we will see rapid adoption and integration of SaaS tools by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) this year.
The democratization of AI
AI has been a game-changer for organizations across industry verticals worldwide. But today, AI is no longer restricted to only business use. With tools like ChatGPT from OpenAI gaining traction, AI is becoming more democratized. As the gig economy gains traction, freelancers, small businesses, and individuals who are a part of it will gain access to various adaptive SaaS tools without the inherent complexity that often comes with larger SaaS platforms.
More efficient and seamless data collection and cybersecurity
Cloud platforms have come a long way from where they began. Today, they offer multiple managed services, making data collection, storage, and analytics more efficient. Simply put, managed services make the day-to-day operations of an organization easier in a cost and resource-optimized manner. Machine learning (ML) has made significant strides since the advent of SaaS, with applications being pre-trained, programmed, or customized to cater to the customer’s needs.
With enhanced data collection comes more targeted cybersecurity. Cybersecurity has been a challenge for a significant number of companies. In 2021, the average number of cyberattacks and data breaches increased by more than 15 percent compared to 2020. Enabled by AI-based automation and pattern recognition through machine learning, cybersecurity is likely to become more robust, which helps with not just identifying threats but providing capabilities for self-recovery as well.
The rise of PaaS
In the simplest terms, PaaS (Platform as a Service) offers a complete, flexible, and cost-effective cloud platform for developing, running, and managing applications. PaaS developments enable businesses to integrate faster and provide add-ons as part of their services. PaaS is another tool to help startups and new businesses quickly scale up as third-party integrations become more manageable. PaaS provides multiple benefits, including greater flexibility, lower costs, better access to more resources, and more freedom to experiment with lesser risk.
Apart from the aforementioned trends we can look forward to in the SaaS segment, there are also solutions being offered to small businesses to access the market at nominal costs. Even companies that have reopened their offices and called employees back to work are looking to expand their usage of SaaS tools, given the numerous benefits and unparalleled convenience and efficiency they offer. And it could put Indian businesses at the forefront of this global digital transformation.
Authored By: Madhav Nair, Senior Vice President of Engineering at ZoomInfo