Software as a service (SaaS) has been one of the most important breakthroughs in the era of cloud computing and enterprise networking, with Gartner predicting that end-user spending on SaaS services will exceed $171 billion by 2022. Because SaaS is so easy to adopt for individuals and businesses, it has shaped the way enterprises approach networking as a whole. Here are some trends to consider during its continued adoption in 2022.
Wider Enterprise Adoption
Netskope reported that enterprises use an average of 1,071 cloud services for their operations. Top solutions, such as Salesforce, have experienced unprecedented growth—ballooning from $161 billion in January 2020 to over $250 billion the next year.
Enterprises should ensure that this rapid adoption does not bypass IT and other business leaders. It’s easy for key enterprise stakeholders to lose oversight of which tools their enterprise has adopted. This is especially true as many businesses have shifted to remote work models. One way enterprises are tackling oversight is through the adoption of AIOps. Ironically, many solutions used by enterprises that employ AIOps in their business operations are SaaS products themselves.
The upside to this newfound ubiquity will be general employee upskilling. As hyperautomation and digital transformation help influence the SaaS space, expect to see more enterprise employees becoming well versed in industry standard tools.
Regardless, the wide adoption of SaaS applications for enterprises is becoming an industry standard. Much of this can be attributed to ongoing business digital transformation and the general acceptance of automated business operations.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that enterprises take on a level of vulnerability when leveraging SaaS solutions. Because most SaaS platforms operate through cloud computing and networking, data centers and IT infrastructures could face an increase in cyber attacks.
These concerns are rising as the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G adoption introduce new vulnerabilities. Moving forward, enterprises must prioritize cybersecurity by putting it at the forefront of their operations and creating actionable steps to mitigate threats.
Writers Tom Wheeler and David Simpson advocated for new approaches to cybersecurity in their 2019 Brookings report, noting how enterprises and individuals must adopt a “new cyber duty of care.” The cyber duty of care calls for prioritizing security in the DevOps cycle, adopting advanced solutions to handle complex attacks, and sufficiently investing resources into cybersecurity for businesses. This is a tangible step enterprises should consider going into 2022.
New Methods of Oversight
As we mentioned earlier, IT executives are struggling to efficiently oversee their business operations as the global workforce permanently moves to working from anywhere. This struggle extends to overseeing the amount of SaaS applications enterprises are adopting.
A Pulse Q&A report shows that 56% of IT executives still rely on traditional means, such as internal tools and even manual spreadsheets, to manage their SaaS applications. Furthermore, only 41% of IT teams are able to address SaaS application management beyond basic license tracking.
This means that both the methods upon which IT teams track their SaaS applications, as well as the breadth of their methods, is lacking. This is a pain point that should be prioritized by both SaaS platforms and enterprise leaders moving into 2022.
Artificial Intelligence as a Service
Artificial intelligence (AI) as a service is essentially a branch of SaaS. Think of it as SaaS driven primarily by AI and machine learning (ML).
AI as a service will no doubt be a priority for AI-driven enterprises moving forward into 2022. In fact, enterprises are already leveraging AI for three main use cases:
- Cybersecurity: AI cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing sectors in the AI space. Enterprises are using these solutions to learn from human behavior and prevent breaches from ever occurring.
- Automate tasks: Task automation is one of the more practical applications for AI as a service. By utilizing robotic process automation (RPA) software, enterprises can deploy bots into third-party applications and effectively scale their operations.
- Virtual Assistants: Another practical application of AI as a service, virtual assistants are very helpful for enterprises looking to automate and optimize customer support. Wait times can be cut as a whole, and customers can get the necessary help they need.
Although the application of AI for enterprises is exciting, there are a number of challenges enterprises must be ready to face. These include integration, employee buy-in, and cost. Expect the wider adoption of AI as a service to address these challenges moving into 2022.
Read next: Effectively Implementing AI as a Service
Top SaaS Platforms for Rightsizing
Finally, enterprises must be aware of the actual tools that are growing in popularity when it comes to enterprise rightsizing, which refers to the idea of reducing spend and simultaneously increasing value and efficiency from SaaS applications.
Currently, according to the aforementioned Pulse Q&A study, three main players in the SaaS space are at the forefront of rightsizing for enterprises:
- Office 365
Not only should enterprises educate themselves on these tools, but also prepare themselves to use newer and evolving platforms in this sector as well. Some of the other tools IT executives identified as being prime for rightsizing included Workday, Dropbox, and G Suite.
Going into 2022, CIOs and enterprise stakeholders must work on their rightsizing strategies. Various factors, such as application contracts, login data, and user engagement data, will become increasingly important. It’s no surprise that many of the tools that are popular for rightsizing offer enterprise pricing packages and prioritize user-friendliness.