While the SaaS market is dominated by a handful of major players, the SaaS market’s long tail is dominated by many young companies with tremendous innovation and overwhelming growth. We observed that SaaS buyers’ expectations of software vendors are increasing dramatically when it comes to what they should and should ultimately deliver if they want to survive in the long term.
In addition, AI, machine learning, IoT, and other buzzwords are now omnipresent in most marketing providers’ marketing campaigns and product roadmaps, which does not make evaluation and evaluation easier for potential SaaS customers.
With increasing competition and complexity, it is more important than ever for SaaS vendors to fully understand what their customers and potential customers really want, and what their top priorities are for them and to ensure successful go-to-market messaging. Many companies conduct survey of the SaaS buyers in 14 countries and across a wide range of industries, including a look at desires, needs, concerns, and priorities, and highlights typical patterns of the SaaS Buyer Journey.
In the surveys, participants rated the following aspects as crucial in choosing their SaaS provider:
- data security
- value for money
- high availability (uptime)
- user experience (simple operation)
While points three to five are neither surprising nor require further explanation, according to estimates, the first two points are not yet understood everywhere.
Data security and trust are the crucial criteria
Data security is by far the most important attribute SaaS buyers seek. The brand trust, which goes hand in hand with security, ranks second. In a world of data breaches, stringent privacy policies, and ever-tougher rules in data-sovereign jurisdictions around the world, there’s nothing more important to SaaS decision-makers than trust in and trust in their SaaS providers data security. Interestingly, the focus on security and buyer confidence in this security varies by industry and geographic region.
For example, customers in the oil & gas industry have the highest level of trust in the data security of their SaaS vendors, while the global media and entertainment industry has shown the lowest level of trust. We also see from the survey that the level of confidence in North America is significantly higher than in Europe or Japan.
With the cloud on the career sunny side!
While examining cloud acceptance, maturity, and customer preferences, shows that about 20 percent of companies have transferred some of their application workloads from the public cloud back to the private cloud. There is a strong correlation between the companies that have returned and those who have some kind of data security problem with their SaaS provider. The recovery is significantly lower in those companies that did not have security issues and fully trusted their SaaS provider.
The last thing SaaS customers want is surprises. Predictability is the key criterion. About one-fifth to one-third of all respondents said they were facing unforeseen problems. Price increases, unpredictable costs and fees, account takeovers, and poor customer service are just a few of the challenges that are becoming more common. Even more disturbing, however, is the fact that 15 percent of companies claim to have had unauthorized access to their data, and more than a fifth of companies has reported data loss or breaches at their SaaS provider.
In 2019, with cloud penetration in the range of over 31 percent and average annual growth of around 20 percent over the next five years, it is critical that SaaS vendors not only take stock of what they do but above all, what they need to do better. The old saying “The customer is always right” applies fully.