SaaS is aging but like fine wine.
Its been more than 20 years since SaaS emerged.
Even after years, its popularity is still on the rise. Especially after the onset of COVID-19 and the resulting remote work culture, SaaS is being sought more in the market.
“The annual growth rate of the SaaS industry is projected to surpass 17% in 2022.”
Technological space is evolving, and so are the user needs. So, to remain relevant to the users and competitive in the market, SaaS product development companies need to look into the trends.
Here are the top 5 trends in SaaS product development you will be witnessing in 2022. Let’s begin.
Top 5 trends in SaaS product development
1. Unbundling of SaaS
SaaS products usually come as feature packages trying to satiate a few to many user needs.
This clubbing together is good until the user needs only one functionality. In that case, they have to pay for the entire features instead of one. Most small businesses look for only a portion of features. It’s difficult for them to afford the whole platform.
Unbundling can be a solution here.
In simple words, unbundling is the opposite of being feature-filled. SaaS vendors build software solutions packaged in the form of APIs. It comes with flexible pricing that’s based on the delivered/perceived value. Also, unbundling enables easier customization and personalizations, helping vendors cater to varied needs.
Unbundling is getting popular, complemented by the rising of small businesses and changing user needs.
2. Prioritizing customer experience
We have now come from a stage where a good customer experience was nice-to-have to where it has become a necessity. Customer Experience is instrumental in many things ranging from purchase decisions to user retention.
“Customers are willing to pay up to a 16% price premium for a great customer experience.” –PwC.
Well, customer experience is no more just a user expectation. It has become a business’s tool to take on competitors.
“81% of businesses compete primarily on customer experience.” –Gartner.
With this, users have more choices, and businesses have no choice. They have to focus on providing a better experience. SaaS companies have started prioritizing customer experience, giving them the same weightage as the product features.
Customer service & support dictates a large portion of the customer experience. SaaS companies are looking for newer and more efficient ways to improve along this line.
The emphasis will only increase in 2022 and the coming years.
3. Low and no-code development
Agile methodologies and rapid product development reduced the time for building solutions. It resulted in,
- Speeding up the time to market pace
- Products evolving at a quick rate
- People getting used to faster solutions
But, the technical work behind this is not easy as it sounds. It is extensive. Not everyone working with SaaS products possess that level of expertise. To aid such teams and to satiate the ever-changing market & user needs, you have no code and low code platforms.
They don’t just enable quicker development. Low & no code also free businesses from the technical dependency on simple & small projects.
The platforms help you develop products with just the drag and drop of elements. Many people are exploring the SaaS product domain irrespective of their technical background. It will increase the need for low and no-code platforms in 2022 and ahead.
“By 2024, low-code application development will be responsible for more than 65% of application development activity.”- Gartner.
4. More need for security
The more the businesses get digitized, the more customer and business data are out there in the digital world. It poses the risk of cyberattacks. After all, it’s not just the businesses that seek data. A lot of hackers look for loopholes to steal them.
Users giving their details is a form of trust they place on the brand/business. It puts the brands in a position to prove their reliability and trustworthiness.
In case of any other misfortune occurrences, the brand name is put on the line. Well, social media exists, making it worse.
SaaS products, henceforth, should be developed concerning data protection and security. SaaS developers must look for ways to improve and enhance it. Security might become a top criterion/factor in purchase decisions quite soon.
In 2022, SaaS development should aim at better security.
5. Data, AI, and Machine Learning
Data is the most valued possession, especially in the current business landscape of focused user-centricity. It can unveil insights about users and the way they use/approach the product/business.
Data analytics can help empower the companies and hence will be majorly sought in 2022. It facilitates the data-driven approach that can elevate the offerings and business processes in a way users like it. Well, data is also an important tool for both AI and ML initiatives.
The AI market is now growing at a faster pace.
“By 2025, the global AI market is expected to be almost $60 billion” – Tech Jury
That’s not it.
“83% of businesses believe AI is a strategic priority for their business today”- Forbes
So, how can AI be of help in terms of the SaaS?
AI can be very helpful in that aspect in the following ways,
- AI-powered chatbots can improve support services through quick and personalized responses. All this culminates at one point— customer experience. As seen earlier, it is an important element in the coming year. SaaS companies are looking out for ways in every possible direction to enrich it. AI comes as a handy option.
- Enhance security through the identification of security breaches.
- Automations in many areas including code reviews.
Machine Learning (a subset of AI) will positively impact the SaaS domain in 2022. Machine Learning can enable,
- Improvements in security through high-level pattern recognition
- Learning user behavior, preferences, and habits to provide them with a better customer experience through sophisticated personalizations.
- Data processing to uncover insights to help businesses with positioning and gaining a competitive edge in the market
- Seamless internal operations through optimized communication models.
Well, doesn’t it seem like a fortune? Who wouldn’t want these as a part of their business?
The SaaS industry is growing strong. But this also means that number of people venturing into SaaS businesses is growing as well. On the other hand, as the world advances towards more digital transformation, many aspects come into the picture.
And to thrive in the SaaS business, in such times, you need to be proactive. You will be having a long-term vision. You need to be aware of what is happening in the industry. You must have eyes on evolving user needs. This way your plan can be made to align to the changes with time.
Adopting the trends is up to you. But being aware of them keeps you going in the game.