The rise of SaaS is imminent, with 80% of businesses currently using at least one SaaS application. But what is it and what does this mean for the future?
SaaS is essentially software that is accessible via a third party over the internet. The simplicity, widespread connectivity, as well as user accessibility, are some of the features that have led SaaS to become popular in various business environments and essential within our daily lives.
The increase of £18.16 billion in spending during this year and a predicted spend of £127.8 billion for 2022 shows that this technological development is not slowing down anytime soon.
Integration of SaaS into our day to day lives
Without even realising, SaaS is in our day-to-day. From Whatsapp to Netflix to Dropbox, these are all forms of SaaS that we use to meet our needs in day to day life. This provides insight into how broad this software delivery is in terms of its sectors. Whether your need is communication/collaboration or management within your organisation, SaaS platforms (e.g. Slack and Hubspot) meet and evolve with the business environment as well as our own lives.
In addition to the fast adaptability that SaaS platforms have, there are quite a few user benefits that are worth mentioning:
- Flexible payment options: only pay for resource usage (Cost-effective).
- Updates: SaaS providers deal with updating and developing the software, leaving mind space for elements of your organisation/ life to be focused on (time effective).
- Increased collaboration: development of SaaS enables sharing of files and understanding across a variety of systems via platforms like Notion, Slack and Google Workspace.
- Security: cloud SaaS has disaster recovery protocols to manage potential system failures, allowing data to still be available and secure, in spite of failures.
Despite the light surrounding SaaS, there are issues that still remain:
- The cost of switching is significant
- Inflation of subscription costs
Management of assets and users across apps
A way to resolve the issue of asset and user management across apps is Cloud orchestration. This software tool is the integration of two or more apps together to form a process or synchronise data across platforms/tools – minimising the compromisation felt by users of multiple SaaS applications, as it provides convenience through a smooth app workflow.
Hubspot’s new ‘Operations Hub’ is a perfect example as it syncs your apps and manages customer data – all with the aim of minimising inconvenience for their current users, with cohesiveness at its core.
1) Combination of SaaS and AI
With more SaaS platforms integrating AI into its process, it’s difficult to ignore the impact this combination can have as it is becoming a key method in cultivating valuable insights from data. From this future trend, personalised services can be offered, allowing user relationships to flourish and save labour costs – cutting down costs but not compromising your performance. Bigcommerce uses this combination, despite initially being a SaaS commerce platform.
The integration of AI in the form of a chatbot provides queries for users/prospects to choose from. This eliminates the process of having to navigate around the website but instead experience a human element in a B2B environment where needs are quickly met.
This adaptability to AI for SaaS providers could minimise the time it takes for customers to assess whether a platform is suitable for their needs. Previous research has shown that 70% of a customer’s decision-making process is completed before interacting with an organisation directly. Bigcommerce’s use of AI answers customer queries directly on their homepage.
2) SEO/Content Marketing and Word of Mouth (WoM) is the way forward for SaaS providers
This form of marketing provides minimal costs and is effective in driving traffic towards your platform. With 70% – 80% of new customers being gained for SaaS platforms like Hubspot via WoM, it’s important that your platform does what it says on the tin and more. For example, does your software platform cater to a niche market?
Brightwheel, a US SaaS platform that serves the childcare community, is a great example of this as they manage the attendance of children in classrooms and communication with families. This trend can be useful if relevant keywords are used to target different stages of the customer journey, additionally if the benefits of your SaaS platform are emphasised over the features.
3) Mobile optimisation
Another trend within the SaaS industry is mobile optimisation. Platforms are becoming mobile friendly to enhance the convenience of users in the office, but also from remote environments. 72% of mobile users access the internet, with 36% of individuals from research spending an hour or more on their device every day – indicating that mobile optimisation is necessary for SaaS developers to maintain a competitive advantage.
Recommendations to avoid being caught in the whirlwind of an evolving SaaS industry.
Make sure your SaaS platform stands out from the rest – consider what your competitive edge is, what value you provide to a user or to a specific market.
Form human connections via easy to comprehend copy – less ‘tech talk’ as this can be confusing and hard to engage with according to 57% of users. Speak to your audience in a human and conversational way to provide clarity.
Consider every aspect of your prospects’ awareness cycle by adapting your message.
Give content marketing your attention. As a way of strengthening your relationship with subscribers, show your presence via social media channels. This can provide traction in a two-way relationship between your business and its users as over 50% of consumers expect a response from businesses within a week.
Considering these points can improve your conversion rates as it gives your audience quality content they can truly engage with.
SaaS is becoming a huge part of our daily lives, whether we realise it or not. From informal communication platforms such as Whatsapp to Hubspot or Slack, are used within business environments.
Cloud orchestration can potentially minimise the inconvenience users face with the cross over of SaaS apps, due to its ability to integrate apps onto a single platform. Hubspot’s Operation Hub is a leading example.
The future combo of SaaS and AI is one that should be considered by SaaS providers for the cultivation and maintenance of their relationships with subscribers/users, due to the human connection mimicked. The technology of AI can enable SaaS platforms to combat the misunderstanding that human connections are non-existent within a B2B environment.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.