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The short, and only answer is, ‘yes’. SaaS (Software as a Service) is growing at an exponential rate and is a hugely critical component of everyday business across countless industries. A lot of the acceleration can be linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced companies to make the move from on-premises software to SaaS, enhancing their IT services, customer interactions, delivery efficiency and allowing them to encourage the scalability of their business solutions.

But what exactly is SaaS?

In a nutshell it’s a type of software application that allows the customer to only pay for what they use, and is typically less expensive than traditional enterprise software that allows businesses to keep their budgets competing with other companies within the same industry i.e – the competition.

The advantages of SaaS are many, varied and well-documented, with businesses benefitting from the fact that it’s quick and easy to implement and has the potential to increase the productivity of their teams across the board in everything from marketing, customer service and logistics, to inventory checks, deliveries, ordering and shipping, and communications. In today’s incredibly fast-paced business world, companies are utilising SaaS and cloud-based applications to change the face of the way they do things, and honing in on advantages such as the fact that upgrades are managed by SaaS providers, leaving your employees to do what you want them to do: focus on the business at hand.

The growth of the SaaS industry is as a result of the increased number of SaaS applications that are now being used by businesses – an average of 600 apps per company – and the popularity of SaaS is, in part, down to the effortless way that these systems are accessed; it’s as simple as providing an email address and credit card details, with the added bonus that having an IT department simply isn’t necessary. Another factor that has played a huge role in the growth of SaaS as an industry is the aforementioned COVID-19 pandemic, which saw massive changes in the way that companies do business, not least with the many people setting up remote working environments seemingly overnight, leading to companies needing to be as streamlined and efficient as possible in order to keep teams communicating, motivated, and on the ball. The pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we work forever, with many employees refusing to relinquish the freedom and flexibility that remote working has provided, and companies enjoying the lower costs and the results that have come from having more motivated, happier, and productive workers, and this has only boosted the growth of the Software as a Service industry further.

The introduction of a worldwide hybrid workplace has meant that SaaS has now become more prevalent across an even wider range of industries, and these applications are cost-effective, highly compatible with existing software systems and incredibly reliable, changing the way that businesses operate, particularly in the fields of HR, CRMs, finance and payroll. The pandemic saw further advances made in SaaS technology due to the increased need for tools that could facilitate the new realms of remote working that would allow companies to connect their teams, not just across the country, but around the globe. This increased need for SaaS has seen more and more project management, communications and CRM software spreading across an incredibly wide range of industries including finance, education, recruitment, healthcare, logistics, engineering and construction – to name but a few – and this type of technology and its reach looks set to keep growing.

The growth of SaaS as an industry includes new SaaS trends and developments such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning, which are becoming more and more prevalent across all areas of SaaS, offering companies an edge over the competition by making a significant difference to their performance and business activity. Because SaaS is now so widely adopted across so many industries, there has also been a growth in the demand for API Connections, which play a critical part in allowing SaaS applications to be integrated for a more streamlined and fuss-free process. Alongside this, the advancements that have been made due to the growth of SaaS as an industry in analytics has meant that businesses are now able to get a deeper and clearer insight into performance, user and activity metrics. This allows them to access real-time data from multiple devices at the same time and use that information to make business decisions that will enhance and improve their performance – whether it’s knowing who is buying what and when, what products and services are the most popular, or what their customers really think of the service they’re providing.

This continuing growth of the SaaS industry has seen recruitment drives for SaaS companies go through the roof, with the demand for new talent sky-rocketing. And it’s not just about the technical skills! – in such a high-growth industry, there is also the constant need for product marketing, sales and leadership roles to be filled, and so it’s no wonder that for those looking to start a fulfilling, long-lasting and potentially lucrative career, SaaS is an attractive prospect.

But back to the businesses that are using SaaS and why the need for these applications is fuelling SaaS growth. The increased popularity for SaaS is down to a number of reasons that make it a ‘no-brainer’ for companies across the board, such as:

SaaS is cost effective – you literally pay for what you use; there are no upfront hardware costs and the payment methods are flexible; for example, pay-as-you-go models, which makes it highly convenient for start-ups and companies with smaller budgets. Security is also a huge plus. It’s easy to understand why SaaS environments might be a particularly tasty and tempting target for cyber criminals – after all, they generally store a large amount of sensitive data such as card details and other personal information, which is why SaaS companies make sure to prioritise security, such as by offering enhanced authentication and data encryption.

Scalability is another asset provided by SaaS, and is one that is highly important to most businesses. Users can very quickly and easily add more storage or services without having to make expensive investments into hardware or additional software. Because of the high scalability of SaaS apps, businesses can access more of these features and services as they grow – an attractive incentive. It is benefits like this that makes the huge surge in SaaS growth so understandable.

With its many advantages making it more and more indispensable to businesses across all industries, SaaS growth shows no sign of slowing down. If anything, it only looks set to continue to grow, offering customers a chance to streamline their businesses, achieve higher levels of productivity and customer service, all while saving them both time and money. What’s not to love?