It’s that time of the year where we take some time to look back at what we’ve seen and look ahead at the year ahead. Obviously, there is an element of foolishness in making predictions in general, and making specific, bold predictions in particular. Technology can change in a heartbeat, and shifts can reflect that. Alternatively, adoption of a new technology can be slower than initially anticipated. At the same time though, it’s also important to take a look at the big picture sometimes, and the New Year gives a nice opportunity to that.
The SaaS trends we will see in 2015 all follow a similar line of thinking: more options and meaningful choices for enterprises and customers. Expect steady, but constant changes in marketing, sales and product development, especially in regards to cloud computing.
Here are 5 SaaS trends you can expect coming in 2015.
1. Companies Will Be Investing More in Personal Consumer Research
Currently a lot of consumer research is performed in a very static manner, through surveys and analysis of raw data. What more companies will be investing in is in personalization and customization in their services. They will also focus on getting to know their customers more personally, usually through social media, through the use of Big Data (see more on that below) and through direct engagement (via email and social media). Details like purchasing motivations, lifestyle, and desires are all important.
Relevant marketing strategies seek to improve customer satisfaction and motivate customers to value your brand as more than just a service.
2. Cloud Data Services Will Overtake Traditional Means of Storage
According to Forrester research, Microsoft will be generating more revenue from its cloud services compared to its traditional on-premise application. Traditional services are limited by their on-premise storage space, while cloud data services are much more open. This will allow for businesses to look into contracting cloud services for meaningful growth while it is still relatively inexpensive.
One challenge to watch out for is that cloud data breaches are a legitimate issue. Expect companies to invest heavily in shoring up their securities to avoid breaches.
3. More SaaS Apps Will Specialize in Specific Industries
Industries like healthcare, manufacturing, and retail will be developing more apps in their specific fields. One of the challenges to this new approach is that it burdens the customer with a deeper, more complex experience to acclimate to. However, a benefit to specialized SaaS is that companies will have a built-in userbase which gives them a head start when developing features. It also benefits enterprise customers.
The reason that this trend is important is because consumers are demanding more apps that are relevant to specific needs. Generalized apps avoid getting too complex in any one area which can alienate consumers by not providing solutions they desire.
4. New Alternatives to Multitenancy Will Develop
Allowing multiple customers to share a single application instance is useful for managing data on cloud services. While the traditional sense allowed for multiple users to be plugged in, and had individual views, alternatives that allow for more personalized experiences are being developed. For example, Salesforce.com is offering a new ‘Superpod’ service for enterprises. This allows companies to have their own dedicated infrastructure inside their data centers, rather than connect to a single server-side instance.
These new hybrid services gives enterprises more options leading into the future, allows for more innovation in developing delivery systems, and thus frees up the bottleneck in the cloud service market. It also gives consumers options as well.
5. A Bigger Emphasis on Big Data Analytics
According to IDC reports, there is a trend leading towards a greater use of data-as-a-service (DaaS) with spending reaching $215 billion in 2015. DaaS will leverage cloud to deliver their services. They also predict that more companies will be using big data analytics as a part of their commercial and open data sets.
Cloud storage offers more flexibility for enterprise access and overall capacity. Since the relative cost of cloud storage per unit is decreasing, more companies are becoming interested in big data analysis, which makes it a perfect opportunity to begin implementing open data set technologies.