7 top trends that will shape the software-as-a-service market

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According to Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market will grow 17% in 2020 to total value of $266.4 billion. With such growth and expansion, it’s never been more important for cloud companies to evaluate customer adoption and retention.

I’ve outlined a few key tech trends stemming from this shift that I expect to see ramp up in 2020.

1. The number one challenge for CIOs will be streamlining cross-functional business processes. As companies become more decentralized, and as SaaS enables business units to operate independently of one another, IT leaders will need to ensure security governance across the organization, including vendors and third-party stakeholders.

2. In 2020, we will start to see SaaS fatigue set in as the landscape becomes overcrowded and overwhelming. Costs will begin to reach a point where the CFO will get involved. As the initial euphoria wears off, the C-suite will need to coordinate on where SaaS is becoming more of an inhibitor than an enabler. That means SaaS companies will need to make sure they're proving their value every minute of every day.

3. IT leaders will need to identify where AI can deliver the highest pay-off. AI is both under- and over-hyped in that it can be transformative for a business, but leaders aren’t sure how to get the best use out of it. CIOs should evaluate what processes can be automated to free up time for workers to deliver deeper insights to the business.

4. Technologies like AI will expand software features that have yet to be discovered. Those that enable SaaS companies to provide lower costs of delivery will control the market as the space matures and competition grows. Examples of this are serverless computing and CI/CD automation.

5. Technology that enables SaaS companies to be more customer-centric will have the largest impact in 2020, since customers have more power and more options than ever before. SaaS companies need to become laser-focused on customer satisfaction as well as engagement, outcomes and advocacy to survive.

6. Data management will evolve into a more complex data platform for customers. Customer-focused companies tend to have a lot more data coming in versus being pushed out, from usage data and surveys to new data sources still unknown to IT.

7. CIOs at customer-focused companies will be expected to interact directly with users and with CIOs at vendors or third-party companies to deepen customer relationships. This will expand a CIO’s vision beyond the four walls of their company and enrich the experience of users.

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