Despite the bulk of enterprise software still being deployed on-premise, SaaS trends have continued to gain much popularity over the recent past. The SaaS market is likely to see significant changes (new SaaS trends in the year 2014) as vendors continue to fight for competitive position, and customers continue to shift their IT strategies to match the deployment model.
As time melts away, the next phase seems like it will generally be characterized by tremendous growth for cloud computing, with enterprises shifting their focus toward leveraging the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model specifically for their application assets. This is because with SaaS, enterprises are able to save costs and at the same time gain additional operational efficiencies as long as they have a labor force capable of accessing corporate applications and retrieving data from a cloud-based environment.
Today, the advent of mobile devices at the workplace or in the office environment is yet another technology trend that continues to make migration to SaaS a more attractive option for companies and organizations.
SaaS Trends We’ve Seen So Far
Hybrid SaaS offers Companies Flexibility
Even when companies migrate to the cloud, many of them prefer to retain some of their application assets and keep them in house. In addition to doing that, they would like to create a mixture of both on-premise and cloud deployment. Some vendors’ applications leverages a hybrid cloud model, providing businesses a hosting choice between in-house, cloud, and a mixture of these two, which they seem to be very comfortable with. Therefore, expect other SaaS vendors to adopt this model in 2014.
Geographic Depth / Worldwide SaaS
As the acceptance of SaaS continues to grow, expect more data centers to be open up worldwide in the year 2014. This will most likely lead to wider availability of SaaS for organizations based in foreign locales. Meanwhile, application performance will improve, as SaaS vendors gain access to more internet-trending locales around the world. This access will enable faster speed and more bandwidth.
SaaS vendors want their enterprise customers to understand that their SaaS offerings are created for disaster recovery and are widely available. As such, “a flurry of announcements” is expected from SaaS vendors in 2014, as they open more data centers around the world. This move is likely to benefit end-user companies. However, some companies today may not be able to go on with a global roll out of SaaS applications due to lack of local data center support that is sometimes mandated by privacy laws or national data storage.
Making Customer Happiness a Priority
SaaS trends these coming years are likely to involve on-premise software vendors honing their skills and knowledge of something other SaaS vendors had to learn years earlier: Running a SaaS business not based on perpetual licenses or annual maintenance, but on annual subscription.
More SaaS Applications Targeted at Verticals
As the SaaS market continues to mature, more vendors are expected to introduce more applications tailored to vertical markets, including healthcare, education, and retail. This is similar to the previous trend seen with the client-server and even desktop software market. For enterprise IT, businesses will invest more in cloud-based applications in 2014.
A company with an application topology consisting of cloud, on-premise, or hybrid software should have a robust application-monitoring tool to ensure that the software keeps running smoothly regardless of location. In addition, the tool should give real time event management information so that operations engineers can diagnose issue quickly before they affect the business in a negative way. SaaS is here to stay – it is not going anywhere.
This smart enterprise gives its internal Ops teams the right software so that they can effectively manage cloud-based and on-premise application, including data assets. If a company lacks the right solution, it could end up watching competitors succeed from miles behind.
Integration: Key for Success of SaaS Companies
SaaS businesses that provide cloud services have become more concerned about integration. Customers expect SaaS to meet their integration requirements. Therefore, they would pressure SaaS vendors into taking on the responsibility of offering seamless integration because it is a part of their service. Today, cloud integration has ceased to be a consumer worry and has become a SaaS provider concern. While many things have been said about the issues of integration, the SaaS providers’ perspective has been neglected. By looking at issues of concern from the perspective of the SaaS provider, you will realize just how crucial integration has become for SaaS vendors who want to succeed in this competitive marketplace.
The Issue of Multi-Tenancy
You will agree that some SaaS vendors have long touted the many benefits of multitenancy. Multitenancy is simply a software architecture where a single application instance is shared among many customers, with their information and data kept separate. It allows SaaS vendors to patch and update several customers at once and gain more mileage out of this underlying infrastructure, hence cutting costs and making management work easier. Lately, however, other variations of multitenancy have emerged. For instance, an option for Oracle’s new 12c database release allows its customers to host several “pluggable” databases within one host database. Oracle says that compared with the application-level multitenancy used by many users, this approach is more secure.
Some SaaS providers have made much of the fact that their applications could be deployed in the cloud or on-premise. However, due to the complexity involved with the last option, most customers have opted for SaaS. Better yet, the concept of application code bases movable between the two deployment models may become more popular this coming year. Regardless, customer demand will continue to dictate the next move of SaaS vendors.
The significant changes and SaaS trends likely to be seen in 2014 are all in an effort by SaaS vendors to better their services and gain a competitive edge over competitors. The growth for cloud computing is fueled by the shift in focus by enterprises wanting to leverage the SaaS model for their application assets. As migration to the cloud continues to gain popularity, we can only expect that SaaS trends in 2014 will address the issues of concern for various stakeholders.