Marketing

The SaaS Forecast: 2021 Business Trends to Watch

January 13, 2021  |   Diego Panama

As we step into a new year, some things will remain the same—at least in the short term. With at least another six months of mainly digital interactions expected, the push for digital transformation from businesses everywhere will continue to pick up steam. As big business continues to double down on the sprint towards a digital transformation, so does acceleration in the adoption of software as a service (SaaS) solutions across the board. Think about the way you envision interacting with brands you love in 2030—that’s where we’ll be by the end of 2021. To make the most of the current and future digital market, pay attention to these four key themes:

SaaS companies will be at the center of driving digital transformation  

SaaS is not just a good business model to grow a technology business, it will also be the preferred way of buying for companies who seek to have technology and digital as the core to their strategy. More and more, companies that recognize that digital transformation is not their strength are turning to best-in-class solutions from partners.

Companies looking to introduce a technology partner must make sure both partner and company see eye to eye and can commit to a long-term relationship. The SaaS business model supports these sentiments, with most commitments being a year or more. 

Before selecting a technology partner, companies must ensure the partner is aligned with their strategy and can support it by evaluating product road maps for synergy of business goals and know how the partner will contribute to achieving these goals. Having this alignment for medium- to long-term relationships is especially crucial for companies relying on the SaaS solution to accelerate the organization’s digital growth.

Services will be key

The accelerated pace toward digital transformation means that companies will be struggling to keep up with hiring, growing, and developing the talent they need to be successful. Services provided by technology or other partners will be crucial in supporting a company’s growth. These partners will help fulfill needs and requirements so companies can stay focused on their ultimate goals.  

For example, a retailer looking to analyze the audiences that interact with them through various channels (e.g. web, app, or call center) will need to rely on data scientists. For retailers, this is a position they most likely do not have on staff (and may not know how to hire). While building out a team with this capability could be a viable long-term solution, the current environment does not afford them the time it would take, leading the retailer to rely on services from a technology provider to do the work.

A connected stack is a must-have

To keep up with the pace of innovation, companies looking to move seamlessly into a digital transformation must build connected technology stacks. Gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all vendor who can take care of all the technology needs a company has. 

A connected stack enables companies to react and respond more quickly to changes in consumer behavior with the flexibility to easily add and integrate new solutions—whether built from within or through another vendor. The quick response time in a connected stack is critical for enabling access to best-in-class solutions and partners. 

Global partners will win

Moving to a wholly digital strategy is no longer a concern among only advanced companies. With the pandemic triggering business behavioral changes, a digital strategy is imperative in every market. Accelerating a digital transformation also means adapting to changing behaviors and locations that come with operating solely digital. Partners who can support their customers with consistent solutions wherever they may be across the globe will win in 2021. A global CPG player will want to work with partners who can support them in as many markets as possible. This is the only way that a digital strategy will be able to truly move the needle for their business.

See how LiveRamp can support your organization as you look to accelerate your digital transformation. Reach out to info@liveramp.com to learn more.