With ever-evolving SaaS apps and products, it's never been easier to run a business from anywhere.
According to Blissfully's SaaS apps Trends Report, overall SaaS spend per company increased by 50% in 2020 compared to 2018.
Even small businesses use SaaS apps or products without much thought, whether a CRM, email marketing tool or automation software. SaaS is a no-brainer for keeping teams on track, both individually and collaboratively for larger companies.
As the new decade begins, here are the SaaS apps trends, tools, and best practices to be aware of in 2021 and beyond.
What exactly is SaaS?
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model that allows customers to access applications via the internet rather than physical media and custom installation. Updates are automatic and instant because the software is centrally hosted and maintained by a provider. SaaS apps or products do not require downloads and can be accessed via web and mobile browsers.
Defining Important SaaS Terms
Vertical SaaS apps or solutions are designed to meet a specific industry's needs, goals, and pain points, such as tourism, retail, or government agencies. Veeva, a cloud computing company focused on pharmaceutical and life sciences, is one example.
Unlike niche products, horizontal SaaS apps are used across all industries, catering to a general business need. QuickBooks, for example, is accounting software.
Packaged SaaS apps or products are intended to help businesses achieve specific business goals and processes, such as increasing marketing results or improving customer satisfaction.
Collaborative SaaS apps, such as video conferencing and collaborative documents, help teams work more effectively together. Slack for communication and Teamwork for project management are two examples.
SaaS Apps Trends for 2022
These SaaS app trends in 2022 will shape the sector in the new year, from the introduction of artificial intelligence to improved mobile optimization and beyond.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
The first of our most influential SaaS apps trends is the autonomous, self-learning variety.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now deeply embedded in the veins of our society. Artificial intelligence technology is quickly becoming a standard fixture in the SaaS industry. Autonomous innovations enable businesses across sectors to increase product, service, or content personalization while gaining a more profound, data-driven understanding of their audience's needs.
AI technology advanced significantly in 2021. It is now positioned to become a major game-changer, with a market value of $733.7 billion estimated by 2027.
In many cases, artificial intelligence provides an advanced level of responsiveness and interaction between businesses, customers, and technology. Especially in business scenarios, propelling AI-based SaaS apps trends 2022 to a new level.
Modern software providers have created many artificial intelligence-based features, such as data alerts. These data alerts learn from trends and patterns and tell you as soon as something major occurs.
As a result, you'll be notified when a pre-set objective is accomplished or something unexpected happens, allowing you to keep constant control over your organization.
Artificial intelligence is expected to disrupt the SaaS apps landscape in various ways, improving critical aspects of the SaaS apps model across the board. Businesses can get more out of their data, automate and personalize services, increase security, and supplement human talent when SaaS is integrated with AI capabilities.
In SaaS apps, machine learning (ML), a subset of artificial intelligence (AI), is used to automate responsiveness in customer service reports and applications, such as AI-powered chat operations with live chatbots. It will also automate the onboarding of SaaS apps.
ML is based on autonomous operational algorithms; advances in ML will enable organizations to automate large internal activities that are not solely focused on customer service or experience.
A new wave of ML innovation will enable SaaS-style offerings to self-improve, providing a level of intelligence and operational efficiency that will propel various industries forward.
Machine learning is one of the fastest-growing software segments, making it a hot SaaS apps trends 2022 topic. As machine learning (ML) becomes an integral part of the AI-based software-as-a-service model, an increasing number of platforms will emerge to assist businesses across industries:
- Train their software to learn from each task or interaction, enhancing its intelligence and efficiency.
- Investigate contextual data and insights - the kind that can give you a real advantage over the competition.
- Enhance internal collaboration and operations by implementing more sophisticated communication models.
- Improve consumer communications and service output by constantly adjusting language, tone of voice, and practical functions in response to clients', partners', or customers' ever-changing needs and demands.
Data-driven is the third of our significant SaaS apps trends. As digital transformation accelerates across industries, businesses across sectors look to data to streamline their operations and simultaneously gain the trust of their users. The amount of money invested in analytics-driven software-as-a-service innovations is expected to skyrocket.
Industry experts believe investment and value in analytics-centric SaaS models will increase by 23.3 percent by 2022. Analytics will become a primary component of almost every service-based software platform by 2022. It will make business intelligence and data-driven decisions even more powerful for anyone looking to stay ahead of the competition.
This centralized analytics will allow users to examine their data from a single point of truth, uncovering hidden insights through modern solutions such as performance dashboards, where every team member has access to the most critical business information.
Furthermore, because SaaS apps models are centralized, users will be able to access data from any device at any time. Modern online business intelligence accomplishes this by using advanced software capabilities and an online environment where each team member has access to their analytics.
Vertical SaaS is our fourth forecast for SaaS apps trends in 2022. Whereas Horizontal SaaS apps target clients from any sector or industry, Vertical SaaS is entirely customizable, focusing on clients from specific sectors and supply chains.
Healthcare analytics software, retail analytics, and modern logistics analytics are a few examples. Companies seeking specialization are discovering Vertical SaaS to be a cost-effective, industry-specific option that allows them to fine-tune the customization of specific features.
For years, the API (Application Programming Interface) has been a critical component of software development. This is precisely what our fifth SaaS apps trend focuses on. With the proliferation of SaaS apps and market adoption, the need to integrate them into an existing business system arose. Some businesses may want to migrate all of their data to the cloud. Still, many would instead incorporate it with their existing infrastructure to improve it – and this is where the problem lies.
Initially, SaaS providers did not provide a complete integration solution. Due to this failure, the work got more complicated and, as a result, caused them to disappoint their customers. They would then direct their clients to a third party who would provide the specific APIs to allow the customer to integrate the cloud solution into their existing system. It was indeed preferable for SaaS developers to avoid reinventing the wheel and instead save time and resources by relying on third-party APIs. Their time to market was shorter, and they could concentrate on their core competencies to develop differentiated functionality.
However, rather than referring customers to third parties, an increasing number of SaaS apps vendors are providing more excellent integration capabilities.
Martech, or marketing technology, refers to a collection of tools that assist brands or businesses in improving their promotional campaigns by facilitating better insights, improved processes, and enhanced creative capabilities.
While the martech industry appeared to be slowing down during the pandemic, this was partly due to outdated practices such as complex features or functionality, inflexible subscriptions or contacts, and poor product demos; significant changes are on the horizon.
As the SaaS apps industry grows, more providers focus on improving the customer experience (CX), including martech providers.
Many martech SaaS providers are looking to make their interfaces more user-friendly and make their solutions more accessible, rather than rolling out complex one-size-fits-all enterprise solutions with almost infinite (and primarily redundant) features.
More cross-platform organizational tools are on the way.
Data dilution and fragmentation are two of the most pressing issues modern enterprises face today (huge companies and businesses rapidly expanding).
According to studies, data scattering or fragmentation is one of the most significant barriers to business growth or evolution, slowing organizations down, causing confusion, and resulting in a slew of missed opportunities.
With poor data management still a widespread problem, a slew of new SaaS apps is emerging to assist businesses in consolidating, organizing, and accessing quality data (derived from a variety of sources) in a centralized location.
In addition to expanding platform integration capabilities, new concepts such as document management systems and digital asset management systems are expected to emerge in 2022.
Increased emphasis on retention and churn
As the SaaS industry expands, SaaS platform providers develop many strategies to provide maximum value to platform users to increase retention rates and reduce churn.
As a result of this development, many existing platforms and emerging innovations will include completely customizable characteristics and tools that provide access to a wealth of insights designed to help businesses.
A greater emphasis on churn and retention will result in personalized onboarding tutorials and videos, improved mobile optimization, and advanced platform feature notifications, in addition to amplifying the inherent value of SaaS offerings.
PaaS is the new thing.
As the software-as-a-service industry evolves and innovation grows, many developers and service providers prioritize customer retention over customer acquisition.
However, we expect SaaS apps to move further into the realms of PaaS (platform as a service) in 2022 – developments that enable businesses to build custom apps as add-ons to their original benefits. Salesforce and Box, for example, have recently launched PaaS-centric services to maintain a substantial market share in their respective niches, and we anticipate that these SaaS apps trends will become more famous than ever!
One of the primary focuses of the PaaS evolution in 2022 will be to assist startups and relatively new ventures in scaling successfully and quickly.
How to Get the Most Out of SaaS in 2022
Consider your overall SaaS stack.
Consider your overall app stack first to reap the most significant benefits from SaaS apps in 2021. How do your tools interact and complement one another? Are they well-integrated? One best practice for sales and marketing stacks is to use a CRM tool to centralize customer and prospect data and sync insights from other apps to enrich the database.
Don't put up with an uncomfortable fit.
You don't have to bear the difficulties if you're using a SaaS tool that's difficult to understand, causes complications, or provides a poor customer experience. There are numerous other options available.
These ten critical SaaS apps trends will shape the landscape in 2022. Many developments from last year have spilled over. Some have evolved, paving the way for entirely new concepts that will propel the industry to dizzying new heights.
Artificial intelligence-enabled SaaS apps, advanced ML capabilities, a shift to PaaS, expansive low-coding capabilities, etc., are here to stay. These forward-thinking concepts will alter the face of business intelligence across industries in the coming years.
It's time to advance! If you're ready to seize the digital horns of SaaS and benefit from your data-driven software-as-a-service solution, try AppsRhino.