SaaS is heating up.
While the idea of ‘on-demand’ software has been growing steadily for the past decade (people were talking about the potential of cloud-based software way back in 2006!), new realms of SaaS are predicted to take off in 2016.
What is SaaS?
Software as a Service (SaaS) could be described as the idea of the sharing economy applied to computer software. Instead of selling entire software packages to install locally, SaaS providers let customers 'rent' software that’s hosted on the cloud and accessed online.
This model has numerous benefits. Not only does SaaS eliminate the need for a physical distribution network, but it allows for easier access and less overhead, as well as faster service and reduced costs overall.
SaaS Trends for 2016
To the Cloud, Again
People have been talking about the potential of the cloud for years, and cloud storage has revolutionized the way we use computers. But in 2016 cloud-based software is set to outpace traditional storage, and 30% of all consumer storage will be on the cloud. This has major implications for those used to doing business hosted locally, and for employees with less than adequate internet connections. More software platforms are becoming cloud-based, and the capabilities of cloud infrastructure are growing. Now more than ever, entire services can be hosted and accessed all from the web.
Industry Specification and Enterprise Apps
Software and apps will become more specialized to serve specific industry needs. Salesforce and other CRM systems have already changed the face of sales and customer service, and we will continue to see disruption of traditional business methods by cloud-based services. Industry experts predict that 2016 will see the disruption of education, medicine, and even real estate by enterprise software suites.
While SaaS products have begun to dominate the traditional computing market, software for mobile uses hasn’t quite caught up. That is set to change in 2016 as service providers make moves to capitalize on the largest market for software in the world: smartphone and tablet users. The mobile market includes a huge international base that is hungry for new technologies and new ways to sell enterprise software. Look for growth in India and other developing nations as SaaS goes global.
Chatbots and Messaging-as-a-service
Chatbots and messaging integrations have been creating a lot of buzz lately, but their true potential has yet to be unlocked. While chatbots may revolutionize UI/UX, they may also change the way software services are provided. As messaging bots and service integrations grow in sophistication, so will their value skyrocket as companies are able to provide services with very little overhead, just a bot, and a messaging app.
Integration of Everything
With so much moving to the cloud, there is a danger that all the information and applications won’t play nicely together. That has been a problem in the past for cloud users, but as more developers get to play with open-source APIs and integrations, more software will be able to fetch data from different sources and will work in conjunction with other services. This results in a more convenient, more effective cloud infrastructure for everyone.
Internet of Things
There’s a lot of talk about IoT (Internet of Things) these days, and we’re still seeing how this booming technology trend will integrate with SaaS. Since IoT devices are web-connected and depend on being able to produce and share a lot of data, it only makes sense to build their infrastructure on the cloud. Companies are currently in an arms race to see who can build the best IoT cloud infrastructure to power Smart Homes, businesses, and eventually driverless cars.