Firms looking for a flexible and cost-effective software solution are turning to SaaS delivery models in increasing numbers. There are plenty of other benefits too, including easy access, scalability and security. 2019 was something of a landmark year for SaaS with take-up faster than in any previous year.
But as we enter a new decade what are the trends that will be driving the next generation of SaaS deployments?
AI is making its presence felt in all sorts of areas and it’s much more than just a marketing ploy. It offers the potential to automate many business processes, improving efficiency and productivity while cutting out repetitive tasks and ensuring better use is made of valuable human assets.
In software terms, it offers the chance of better anomaly detection, reducing the number of false alerts from antivirus and anti-fraud systems. It can also monitor performance indicators and alert management teams to things going off track in the business far earlier than any human analyst.
Combining AI with SaaS means software that delivers more speed, better accuracy, improved security and greater personalisation, but which – crucially – is still affordable for small and medium businesses, allowing them to compete on a level playing field with their larger competitors.
APIs are the vital components that allow applications to work together and deliver digital transformation across the business. Early SaaS applications tended to be somewhat isolationist, often relying on third-parties to supply links to other packages.
Suppliers are now recognising that the way forward is greater openness and that the ability to work with other systems is a positive selling point. This is also going to lead to more unbundling of features with a series of API solutions on offer rather than a fully-featured package.
One of the things we’re likely to see more of in 2020 is the rise of micro-SaaS suppliers targeting very specific areas, often as a complementary addition to an existing platform. These might supply missing features or options required by certain industries that larger developers may not see as worthwhile.
The teams behind these are likely to be small and able to react fast to demand, leading to a host of innovations aimed at gaps in the market.
The trend towards using mobile devices rather than desktop PCs is well advanced and as the 5G rollout begins to gather pace, this is an area that’s going to become more important still. But while it frees workers from the constraints of place and time, it will require a different developer mindset.
SaaS tools will need to be optimised to work across a range of devices and be equally functional on all of them. Developers that are able to embrace this trend while protecting usability and security should see themselves with a strong competitive edge.
Of course, to successfully exploit these trends you need senior people with the right skills which is where the team at Clifford Associates can help.
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