by Rakesh Sharma
Published on 27 December 2011
Hindsight brings wisdom.
It's that time when we reflect on the year which passed us by.
For online business software, this was a landmark year. According to a Gartner report published in September, the global market for Software as a Service (SaaS)products was expected to generate $12.1 billion, a growth of 20.7 percent year-over-year.
This is good news for small businesses.
Growth of SaaS applications enables businesses to trim costs and increase productivity. The increase in use of such applications has corresponded with a surge in online productivity applications in the market.
The popularity of productivity applications is not surprising since they distill and democratize applications across businesses, regardless of size. That is the true essence of SaaS for small businesses.
In the best tradition of year-ending lists, here is a list of key trends in the online productivity application space that we will continue well beyond 2011.
Productivity is global
Technology has changed the nature of work. And, productivity apps are at the forefront of this revolution. Distributed workforces are not restricted to large corporations. Thanks to online productivity apps, even small businesses can have distributed workforces that span multiple locations and geographies. The productivity string the team together and make collaboration happen. Our team at GetApp is a prime example. We span three countries, comprise eight nationalities and work across three timezones.
And, we work together.
By the way, did I mention that we are proud to be a small business!
Productivity is social
Social became a part of mainstream SaaS applications this year. Practically, every software or application suite worth its salt integrated social networks and platforms into its solution. We already know that social networks provide reams of data about customers personal preferences and habits at affordable costs. However, tools such as Zoho and Podio also enhance productivity by combining the best of social networks and productivity tools.
Expect this trend to continue next year as social networks continuously redefine the nature of small business interaction and relationships with clients.
Productivity is personal
The advent of stand-alone applications such as Evernote or Rememberthemilk has redefined the notion of productivity. For years, large corporations thrust productivity suites at us. The era of stand alone applications has arrived. Stand alone applications enable businesses to choose and integrate the best market solutions into their productivity portfolio at low price-points. Of course, this means that the difference between personal and professional productivity has blurred because you can use applications at home or at work.
Productivity is holistic
On-premise tools are generally stand-alone applications that require complex integration work to speak to the remaining applications in your organization. The result is a silo-centric organization of isolated departments.
Online productivity applications, however, integrate with your business management applications. Public or shared APIs are fast becoming the norm as big and small service providers realize the importance of integrating and sharing information across applications. Greater sharing results in less issues and pain to run your small businesses.
Click to discover and compare a list of productivity tools for small businesses
Wishing you a happy and productive new year.