In 2021 SaaS platforms will become more and more popular, as this distribution model is both convenient for users and lucrative for its owners. The Software as a Service (SaaS) model is becoming more and more attractive choice for startups who claim accessibility and versatility as their main advantages. SaaS is popular among client enterprises as well, as it provides flexibility and cost-effectiveness, along with simplicity and affordability, providing maximum efficiency in all areas.
According to experts at Betterbuys.com, the cost of SaaS industry in the US alone will be $55 billion by 2026. You can also become part of this figure by joining startups who have chosen this promising area. The question is, what exactly hooks a potential user? What trends to use to succeed? In this article, we will cover 6 interesting ideas and trends in the SaaS development that will help you win this race.
State of SaaS startups industry in 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic and global market uncertainty have also shaped SaaS market trends. According to the SEG report, there was a feverish sell-off of SaaS stocks in March 2020 in response to the global situation.
The major market indices have shown negative returns since the beginning of the year. In particular, the SEG SaaS index fell to -25.7%, outperforming the S&P 500 and Dow Jones indices due to the sell-off.
Still, the effect of lockdown events is not only alarming, but also transformative. Cloud-based communications and cooperation service providers have mostly benefited from the work-at-home mandate.
Notably, Zoom topped this sector with a 92% year-to-date share on the SEG SaaS index as of March.
These days, the status of the cloud investment industry market seems to be normalizing. So the SEG SaaS index has risen to almost + 40% since the beginning of the year in August 2020 and keeps going up. So, the business future of SaaS seems to be looking good amid the global pandemic.
SaaS startup ideas for 2021
A Platform as a Service, or PaaS model, is a type of cloud service in which a provider gives customers a platform which allows them to develop, run and manage business applications. In this model, the entire information technology infrastructure, including computer networks, servers and storage systems, is entirely managed by the provider, and therefore customers do not need to build and maintain the infrastructure that is usually needed for such processes. In this kind of SaaS, startups get an environment in which they can create and launch new applications without wasting time and money on the infrastructure itself. This way startups can develop and release applications faster. Additionally, with PaaS, startups can also quickly test new programming languages, OS, databases, and other development technologies. At the same time, companies that manage their applications and data do not lose control over them. Enhanced features, functionality and the potential for personalization can significantly increase business flexibility and many large companies have already appreciated this SaaS trend.
Which companies use:
- AWS Elastic Beanstalk
- Apache Stratos
SaaS-based startup industrial application ecosystems
To date, the popularity of industry-specific SaaS applications is steadily growing. At least that's what the Forrester experts say, and we have no reason to mistrust them.
According to experts, this trend will lead to the formation of industry-specific ecosystems of SaaS platforms. In such conditions, several departments or even institutions will be able to connect and interact with each other in real time, which will significantly boost their performance. This is especially true for industries that are highly dependent on data sharing, such as government agencies, healthcare, and manufacturing.
Celonis CEO Alexander Rinke believes that the future will be with technologies that will stand on top of existing SaaS systems and integrate them, providing holistic collaboration and analytics. Major players are already trying to take this area, would you like to join?
Which companies are already using:
- Financial Services Cloud
SaaS CRM startup
The technology for providing CRM systems as a subscription service has been known for quite some time. Nevertheless, if you already decided to create a SaaS platform, why not go along the beaten path and create something that is guaranteed to be in demand. According to Gartner, SaaS spending will be approximately $42 billion and will account for 75% of total CRM spending. In the end, SaaS-based b2b CRMs have a number of customer benefits, such as quick deployment, low initial investment, and convenient Internet access. SaaS CRM systems are popular primarily with small businesses because they are easy to implement, they provide automatic updates and support, and also offer multi-level subscription plans.
SaaS CRM creators:
As in any other growing innovation related industry, competition is extremely intense in SaaS platforms. More and more players are entering the market, and therefore startups that have chosen SaaS as a distribution model have to constantly look for new ways to get noticed.
In response to tightening conditions, small startups begin to release the so-called micro-SaaS. Typically, micro-SaaS startups are run by a small team, sometimes consisting of one or two people. Micro-SaaS products are usually add-ons to existing platforms or developments and are designed to add a missing feature or enhance an existing SaaS product.
Such SaaS applications are niche, but they may be more valuable to enterprises in various industries.
Which companies are already developing:
- Sprout Social
AI SaaS startup
Rise of the machines is coming, come with us if you want to live. Ok, jokes aside, if you really want to grow and develop, you need to seriously think about using artificial intelligence in your SaaS solution.
Artificial intelligence is now on the side of the building, everyone is constantly talking about it, but there are certain reasons for this. According to the forecast of Transparency Market Research, the growth of machine learning as a service (MLaaS) will lead to the fact that by 2025 it will grow into an industry worth $19 billion. By building an AI-based SaaS solution, you can optimize many business processes, automate repetitive tasks, and enhance the human capabilities of potential users by increasing productivity and efficiency. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can be a great help for business, taking the SaaS platform to a whole new level. By integrating these models into your SaaS solution, you will get a huge advantage in the field of data processing, security, automation and personalization of services. Machine learning can help automate the response process in SaaS adaptation processes, such as generating customer service reports, live chat bots, human speech processing and recognition systems, and much more. Before embarking on the integration of artificial intelligence into your SaaS platform, get the support of experts and analysts to create a pilot project with their help. Start small, because in this case it is important to have clear and realistic goals and a certain set of knowledge to do everything right and not to exceed costs. But don’t delay, otherwise competitors may turn out to be more agile.List of leading SaaS startups that have already integrated AI into their products include both larger and many smaller firms.
Which companies are already implementing AI:
Blockchain SaaS startup
In the wake of the growing interest in blockchain startups and fundraising with the help of ICO/IEO/STO, there are many projects that are ready to sell services or access to software using the blockchain or using blockchain to one degree or another. And although most of the interest in this technology is limited to cryptocurrencies and everything connected with them, the potential of the blockchain is still huge. Why not use it in conjunction with SaaS?
You may, for instance, take a look at such a phenomenon as BaaS - Blockchain-as-a-Service. This is a model that allows users not to develop their own blockchain solutions, but to use the provider's blockchain. You can apply the BaaS solution when implementing projects of any level - from startups to projects of transnational corporations. And all this without investment in the development of their own blockchain networks. The leaders in this sector are mainly major players, for example Microsoft, which has its own BaaS-based Stratis solution.
The founder of AppSelekt, Stephen Cummins, believes that blockchain startups in the future will significantly affect the development of SaaS in the field of public services. Estonia, for example, is already successfully implementing blockchain in the healthcare sector. In addition, it is changing the payment industry, as it is used not only for working with cryptocurrencies, but also with mainstream transactions.
Which companies are already using:
A truly experienced specialist related to the development of SaaS platforms will confidently tell you that the rapid growth of this industry is not going to slow down in the near future. And they will be right. According to many studies, the SaaS industry is rather one of the fastest growing at the moment. According to various authoritative sources, by 2020, cloud applications were expected to occupy 90% of the total mobile traffic, 73% of all companies were expected to work exclusively on SaaS, and the expected growth of the SaaS market was to become $75 billion. And although it cannot be said that all these forecasts were fully confirmed, because the pandemic has made its own adjustments, the industry continues to develop very actively.
Whether or not to use the ideas suggested in this article is up to you. Still, MassMedia Group can help with planning and developing SaaS right now. And if you want to know even more about the SaaS-model, read our article “Why SaaS-platforms are a great solution for your business”.