In this article, I analyzed the promising directions for SaaS development and collected trends and tools that will help you find growth points for your business.
Puzzle English – SaaS solution. As the CEO of this company, I have to constantly look for new opportunities for its development, which is why I delved into the study of SaaS trends. Below are my main observations and conclusions.
SaaS, or Software as a Service, is evolving rapidly. Gartner predicts that the SaaS market will grow to $172 billion in 2022. Today, 99% of companies use one or more SaaS solutions. The larger the company, the more SaaS solutions it uses.
Development strategies for SaaS projects
1. Vertical SaaS
The market for SaaS solutions for niches and narrow markets is growing. Instead of increasing the variety of features for a wide audience, developers are focusing on a specific customer segment and creating the best product for that niche.
Customers of such SaaS solutions benefit from such offers due to the low cost of access compared to developing software from scratch. Vertical SaaS solutions remove the problem of customization by offering special functionality and customer behavior scenarios that are specific to a particular niche.
For example, the Kindergarten app Brightwheel helps teachers communicate with parents, monitor attendance, schedule classes, and more.
Farel’s SaaS solution streamlines air carrier operations and helps airlines generate additional revenue by offering advanced, personalized ancillary services for every customer touchpoint, from check-in to flight to arrival.
2. Micro SaaS
The SaaS market is saturated, but startups are building add-ons, plug-ins, and extensions for existing SaaS giants. For example, Boomerang for Gmail is an email scheduling and tracking service.
Development of SaaS products to order or for sale.
The model allows startups to enter the market with less financial backing or less software expertise. For corporations, this is an opportunity to quickly automate business processes.
For example, Duotek created a Security Company Automation System for Eldorado, and ESK Solutions developed a Fleet Automation System with Yandex.Taxi and Uber integration.
Artificial intelligence is used by most SaaS projects. The technology allows intelligent SaaS solutions to diagnose the situation using image recognition, engage in dialogue using speech recognition, predict the future and offer optimization options based on predictive analytics, personalize content and communication, and automate routine operations.
Laiye helps you manage orders and personalize your customer experience.
Tractable helps insurance companies quickly assess damage to vehicles in an accident and simplify damage calculation.
Invenia predicts the load on the power grid and allows you to avoid their emergency shutdowns.
Remove removes the background of images.
Flowrite helps you write letters, posts, texts for blogs.
Spotify personalizes song collections.
Puzzle English personalizes communication and teaches you how to speak English.
5. Low Code/No Code
Development of SaaS solutions without programming (No Code) or with minimal involvement of developers (Low Code) is becoming the norm. The SD Times has called 2021 the year of Low Code. According to Research and Markets, the Low Code market will reach $187 billion by 2030.
The development of IT solutions thanks to intuitive tools saves time and does not require a staff of programmers. Low Code / No Code platforms allow you to quickly make mvp, test hypotheses about the viability of the product, but are not adaptive to complex tasks.
For example, the Ninox Low Code platform allows you to automate business processes.
Webflow is one of the popular No Code website building platforms. With its help, more than 3.5 million projects have been made, including the SaaS platform for HR Lattice.
Collected here are other examples of No Code platforms.
6. Cloud Technologies
Most SaaS projects use cloud technologies to provide scalability, flexibility, and speed in the development of mass products. Cloud services remove the cost of creating your own server infrastructure and allow you to provide the same high quality product in different parts of the world.
For example, CrowdStrike, an enterprise security service, uses AWS, which shortens the sales cycle by almost 50%.
Hybrid, multi-cloud, and edge environments are growing and providing the foundation for new distributed cloud models. Thanks to the development of wireless communication (5G R16 and R17), the speed of adoption of cloud technologies will increase.
7. Content & SEO
SaaS projects rely on unique content and search engine optimization to get the message across to the customer, as content marketing and SEO can generate large organic “reach” in search engines at a lower cost compared to the cost of advertising. For example, HubSpot built a B2B SaaS business worth over $866 million on SEO.
8. Employee branding
For SaaS projects, talented employees are a key competitive advantage. Therefore, many developers of SaaS solutions pay great attention to the development of the employer brand. Here’s an example of how Squarespace does it.
9. Customer churn tools
SaaS projects are developing new ways to retain customers. One approach is to divide service packages into parts with the ability to pay for certain functions and actions, and subsequently upgrade your access at a big discount. For example, Canva offers a free trial period and has several pricing plans.
Personalization of communication with customers is another effective method of retention. For example, Bonjoro helps companies create personalized introductory videos.
The ability of a SaaS solution to integrate with different platforms and other solutions determines its success in the future. The incompatibility of a SaaS solution with others forces the user to switch. This is inconvenient and leads users to other resources. Therefore, SaaS projects increasingly provide the ability to link applications.
The quintessence of the integration trend is SaaS solution Zapier, whose key function is to integrate and automate the interaction between applications.
Popular and promising areas
Among the top areas in which SaaS solutions are actively used,
- sales – Salesforce, InSales;
- marketing – Marketo, Retail Rocket;
- customer support – Zendesk, amoCRM;
- finance – Bill.com, Financier;
- HR – BambooHR, Talantix;
- project management – Notion, Wrike;
- IT development – GitHub, 1C-Bitrix.
Here are the top 20 SaaS solutions
11. Collaboration software
There is a growing demand for SaaS solutions for remote collaboration.
Slack has 12.5 million users;
Zoom – 505 thousand corporate clients,
Miro is a team collaboration service that has 30 million users.