How will the SaaS Market Evolve in 2014?


I was debating whether to write about this on my own personal blog or here, but opted for LiveStax blog as our aim is to launch a True-SaaS product by 2015 (few customers will be using LiveStax well before) under the 4 stage launch programme. My thoughts on the topic was first shared on Quora, as a result of the discussion raised by Christophe Primault, Founder & CEO of GetApp, a Business Apps Marketplace for SaaS products.

Here are my thoughts:

  1. There will be greater debate on two tier systems, as more and more companies learn to live with on premise (including legacy) and SaaS, adopting a hybrid approach. Head over to Two-tier: systems of record and engagement written by Phil Waineright at Diginomica for a good insight on this topic.
  2. SaaS vendors will continue to be pulled in two directions, i.e. best of breed (single product) to multi product (driven by the need for greater revenues). One of these companies is Box with their Notes product. I had a quick chat with Aaron Levie, Co-Founder & CEO of Box recently in London. How companies manage between product extensions and diversifications will dictate who wins in the long run.
  3. The middle market will continue to cause confusion due to products that specialise for smaller companies (no sales team), and the rest focusing on larger companies (sales team). The biggest land grab is here. Offering a product for the middle market is always difficult due to overlaps, and the constant attempt by those at the either side wanting a piece of your market. One good example is SAP’s attempts via SAP by Design.
  4. Consolidations will start to bite others. It is becoming obvious that Salesforce is beginning to eat into MailChimp’s and Constant Contact’s email marketing space via ExactTarget acquisition.
  5. Larger companies will increase acquisition spree in their defence against Salesforce, as Salesforce continues to diverse from their CRM strength. No market segment will remain untouched, e.g. Having groomed Coda to built FinancialForce using, and then having acquired a major shareholding, Salesforce is continually extending its capability in to other markets quietly.
  6. Surfacing information will become even more important. These tools will enable enterprises to extract further value from legacy and on-premise solutions, whilst supporting ever growing number of SaaS web apps. Whilst the Dashboards seems to dominate this market, the new entrants such as LiveStax in 2014 will begin to offer new broader solutions delighting CIOs and IT Directors.
  7. App Stores will be adopted more and more within the Enterprise. LiveStax will be right there to support this. I foresee enterprises having their own internal App Stores, which will support the ever increasing need for information and analytics.
  8. Enterprises will become truly social, where previous barriers between workers and managers will be broken via SaaS social apps, which will focus on greater collaboration and reporting.

Love to hear what your thoughts are on this vital subject.

  • Justin McGill @ Workado

    Love the forecast and insights. Especially the hybrid approach, which I would not have considered being a direction that SaaS would go.

    Wholeheartedly see the point in SaaS providers branching out with additional products/offerings to meet demand and increase revenues though. Curious if they’ll do this under the same company brand/umbrella or build those out under separate brands and what the integrations would be like between the them (if any).

    • Manoj Ranaweera

      Thanks Justin for your comments. How’s @workado coming along?

      • Justin McGill @ Workado

        Coming along – will have some sneak peeks next week and getting some good interest in the beta program, so that’s all exciting stuff. Thanks for asking! Edocr seems like a great service by the way, I had not heard of it until your response so kuddos :) I’ll be looking into it for sure.

  • Clint Wilson

    Food for thought this weekend my friend. Thinking of buying a plane with that SaaSy look:)


    • Manoj Ranaweera

      Looks like Scandanavians got it first, @Cazoomi:disqus

  • Lindsay Smith

    A most interesting list – correctly it deals with what is going to happen, not what I wish would happen – maybe on this occasion that is too conservative?

    I wish: for the user rather than the technology (or the vendor!) to be at the centre of the Cloud, Do you think this may happen in 2014?

    5, 10, 15 years ago I had all my applications and data sources integrated – now I’m working in Neanderthal digital caves of data here, data there, web-page collects something, into the spreadsheet cave (oh, which one, let’s do skydrive as it’s more versatile then I can copy it to google later, then to mailchimp, then to LinkedIn, more data from Eventbrite, now that can go to Xero)… And none of this gophering is my ‘job’ – none of it is what I do to add value or create value. Get the idea?

    I think you may do.

    Good luck with 2014 – I hope it’s a stellar year for our Cloud!

    • Manoj Ranaweera

      Thanks for your thoughts @InSadly:disqus – The best of breed is no doubt going to create many issues. Wonder what impact ISO27001 might have on our ability to pick the best SaaS for the job?