As the market adoption for Software as a Service (SaaS) grows, the industry is expected to grow by $16 billion this year.
Rising from below $100 billion in 2019 to $116bn in 2020, the regional manager, Africa, Zoho Corporation, Andrew Bourne has said the pandemic has thrown the SaaS industry into sharp relief.
Bourne said businesses have in the past few months embraced cloud technology to pivot and survive, which he said allows businesses to continue their operations remotely.
“However, if you have chosen cloud software for your business recently, you know that the SaaS industry is a crowded marketplace.
“For every single business requirement, there are hundreds or thousands of vendors to choose from.
“It should come as no surprise that the industry is expected to grow this year to US$116-billion this year, but is that growth sustainable?”
As the market adoption for SaaS grows, Bourne listed some other driving trends to include lack of profitability, the rise of the suites, consolidation and differentiation.
“At a time when Venture Capital funding is drying up, only those vendors that can prove they are on track to be profitable will make themselves more visible and relevant in the future; those that cannot make that leap will most likely be a part of someone else’s consolidation story.
“Already, bigger SaaS players are strengthening their offering by either building new products, or more often acquiring companies.”
On market growth, he said: “In Nigeria, for instance, smartphone penetration is at 87 per cent, with less than a quarter of the population accessing the internet through a laptop or desktop.
“The mobile strategy of the vendors will determine their relevancy.
“Even as emerging market countries start to make investments in connectivity, the majority of them are likely to remain mobile-first markets.
“How well SaaS companies pivot to mobile-first will determine their success in these markets. In South Africa, for instance, smartphone penetration is at over 80%, with less than a quarter of the population accessing the internet through a laptop or desktop. The mobile strategy of the vendors will determine their relevancy.”