As part of the work I do with ModComms, we often work with Software as a Service clients. That led me to do some research into the trends that SaaS create and their influence on the wider world of business. Here are eight trends where SaaS is making itself felt:

The World is SaaSing up (Source)
SaaS is everywhere, and it’s highly valued. There are two themes to SaaS. Firstly, software, which is progressively digitising every aspect of our lives; and secondly the subscription business model, which allows us to buy ever more services on a convenient “pay as you go” basis. Between the two, they are disrupting established businesses for good.

Brexit: UK Government seeks to reform data privacy (Source)
The UK is now a “third country” under the EU’s GDPR (i.e., outside the EU). As a result, the EU-GDPR no longer applies to the UK. We have a new regulatory framework for UK data protection (known as UK-GDPR) which is ultimately likely to diverge from the EU’s position (currently authorised under the “UK Adequacy Decision” until June 2025). International transfer of data may therefore be an administrative and regulatory burden.

Climate: Major tech providers aiming for carbon neutrality or negativity (Source)
Quite how climate remains on the agenda post-Ukraine and in a UK environment obsessed with cutting red tape is an open issue. But tech is happy to be seen to be leading the way with commitments to NetZero operations, particularly in environmentally expensive data centres.

AI – Hyper-personalised marketing to leads (Source)
AI is on the brink of revolutionising many business functions, but it’s best at making complex things simple. And there’s nothing more complex than the customer. By pulling together multiple sources and themes (customers’ overt preferences, their web activity, product pipelines, special offers etc.), AI can create the sort of personalised engagement strategies that only a human salesperson could previously do.

SaaS companies assume the role of educator and leader (Source)
SaaS is predicated on long-term engagement with customers. That’s because those customers can choose to leave anytime – so the modern SaaS business is always a partner, mentor and educator to its customer community. This is going to be a running theme in the emerging world; from the reimagining of apprenticeships to the outsourcing of whole business outcomes to partner companies. Knowledge is power, and smart businesses are getting credit for lighting the way for their customers.

Vertical SaaS options growing (Source)
Vertical SaaS is software created for a specific niche. The first SaaS pioneers (Dropbox, for example) were mass-market; applicable across billions of use cases and used by both consumers and businesses alike. With digital transformation now being felt in every commercial setting – and integration between different tools a natural expectation – SaaS products for niches from creative agencies to shipping forwarders are becoming profitable propositions.

Low Code becomes the norm (Source)
There is a global shortage of tech talent. And when you can find it, it’s expensive. Furthermore, not only is the tech landscape changing constantly, but many of the fragments of functionality businesses need to digitise have been done before… somewhere. Building on the idea of Open Source, Lo-Code/No-Code is coming to the rescue: an entirely component-based approach to developing digital products.

SaaS companies and Employer Branding (Source)
Talent attraction and retention high on the executive agenda. Less obvious is the fact that many – especially younger digital natives – are picky to the point of snobbishness about the software they use at work. If you’re stuck with outdated systems, you’re probably losing top employees without knowing it. The systems you use have become a crucial part of your employer brand strategy.