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We all predicted that remote work would predominate. The growing freelance market, shift to outsource app development, and other technology industry trends pointed at the increasing role of the remote economy.
We didn’t know that in 2020, one of the coronavirus strains would accelerate these changes and, often, make remote work the only possible option.
The remote economy shapes modern tech market trends and lays down rules. To learn how it impacts SaaS startups and tech businesses, read about:
The tech market is relatively resistant to economic downturns. This is true for SaaS startups and SaaS application owners that are flexible, scalable, and stress-resistant. Since “on-demand” software charges subscribers only for the capabilities (metrics) they use, such a business model gains popularity in the age of budget-saving.
According to the research conducted by Gartner Inc, this year, global IT spending will shrink by 8%, reaching $3.4 trillion. Although the negative trend is evident, the digital economy has suffered much less than travel, hotels, shipping, cinematography, automotive, oil, and gas, among others.
Besides, the lockdown and transition to the remote economy have affected different regions differently. It has turned out that some countries were better prepared for remote work in terms of internet infrastructure and the robustness of digital platforms. The research published by Business Harvard Review shows that Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, the US, the UK, and the Netherlands were ready to cope with the challenges of the remote economy. On the flip side, India, Mexico, Russia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Turkey were struggling with the increasing pressure on the local infrastructure.
Source: Harvard Business Review
Besides the technical issues, the governmental and social response to COVID-19 also affects the business climate. The situation with the skyrocketing number of infections in the US is a dramatic example. Despite the developed local digital economy, the delay with social distancing measures and the refusal of many citizens to obey them have strained one of the strongest world’s healthcare systems and economies.
Thanks to early implemented social distancing, Eastern Europe has cut losses and returned to almost-normal life more smoothly than many Western countries. With more effective strategies, the Eastern European countries have won time to prepare the local digital economy and make data-driven solutions on what to do next.
At last, some regional factors, the actions of every technology company also play a major role. SaaS startups and technology companies have reviewed their policies, products, and expenses to adapt to the newly emerged requirements of the remote economy. Many also shifted to more stable remote cooperation tools and redistributed the workload.
Over 74% of businesses plan to increase the share of employees who work remotely after the lockdown. They perceive the implemented measures as a part of their long-term technology company development strategy.
The steps taken by tech economy heavy-weights are illustrative of this. After a remarkable surge in the daily number of users, Zoom has increased its security budget to protect consumers from data breaches. Even though this decision was dictated by hacker attacks, the impact of the strengthened security is far-reaching.
Following the new technology industry trends, Facebook reshapes the tech economy of the Bay Area with remote work. This May, Mark Zuckerberg stated that up to half of the 48,000 Facebook employees could work remotely within the next decade.
“Over the next 5-10 years, I think we could have 50% of our people working remotely, but we’re going to get there in a measured way. I think Facebook will be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale, and we’ve been working on a thoughtful and responsible plan to do this.” (Source)
Given that in 2018, the company signed the 750,000 square feet lease to almost triple its office space in San Francisco, such a change looks like a tribute to the remote economy. Besides, Facebook will start hiring tech specialists that live within four hours from its office and launch office hubs in Denver, Dallas, and Atlanta. This should enable the company to cut real estate costs and engage local talents.
Dropbox, a cloud-storage technology company, also prepares for an extended period of the future remote work. It reassesses nearly 1,000 used tools to determine which of them are critical for remote work and which can be abandoned. The goal is to optimize the remote working process by eliminating the need to toggle between dozens of applications. Dropbox has also allowed 2,8000 of its employees to work remotely through the end of the year.
Google, as a SaaS company, didn’t make any drastic changes besides the shift to remote work. And they didn’t have to. The SaaS company owns several SaaS applications tailored to the remote tech economy. Google Docs, Google Analytics, Google Meets, G Suite, are just a few of such Google’s SaaS applications. They used to be popular back then and they remain highly demanded on the tech market, bringing Google a steady revenue.
SaaS trends and the overall state of the tech market reflect the changes in consumer behavior. SaaS applications and tech products are always created to satisfy the needs of an end-user. And when the needs change, the tech economy is also affected. Below are the main trends that have evolved in response to the remote economy.
The telemedicine industry witnessed an unprecedented 616% growth during the last week of March when massive lockdowns started. Web conferencing (445%), video platforms (327%), and antivirus (308%) took the next places in the top rising software categories. Today, the digital economy is strongly focused on solutions that power future remote work and technology-aided diagnosing. Since SaaS applications offer the easiest access to such services, any SaaS company that already operates in these fields will enjoy a huge competitive advantage.
Applications that can effectively handle large volumes of data are essential for business transformation and tech market success. Big data analytics increases productivity, grows revenue and boosts security. Thus, SaaS startups should look into investing in big data applications for fraud detection, customer analytics, healthcare services, and other industries with the growing demand for optimized data processing.
Low or no-code platforms help enterprises to speed up the software development process and launch software (MVP) within very tough deadlines. These drag-and-drop tools enable specialists without deep technical expertise to build simple products and cut the budget. Low and no-code tools are also widely used by developers to eliminate routine tasks. Airtable, Zapier, AppSheet, Mendix, and many of their analogs can create basic applications and web resources.
With the transition to remote work, most web app development services have reviewed the pricing policies in their SaaS applications. To keep loyal users and attract new subscribers, they have extended trial periods and offered discounts. This has led to the growth in usage but reduced the revenue. Despite being a great way to market a SaaS company as a socially responsible business, such an approach may be commercially unfeasible. Thus, SaaS technology providers need to keep the balance between what they offer and what they can afford to offer.
Pandemic-era made significant changes to how customers prefer to receive the services or products. Social distancing, contactless payment, instant service, and fast delivery so desirable by end-users, made the on-demand applications must-have for any customer-oriented business.
However, fast and first-rate development of the on-demand web or mobile application requires having specific resources. Immediate hiring of experienced software developers and testers, management process, and lack of specific knowledge might seem frustrating.
Here, it is advised to hire a remote web and mobile app development company. By partially or fully outsourcing software development to the remote vendor, businesses can focus on their core activities and the customers’ needs. (Read this overview, to discover which outsourcing destinations are best).
The article has covered the state of the remote economy with a focus on the SaaS tech market. All the described trends are born from the need for real-time remote communication and optimization of business processes. Software development outsourcing is one of the most effective ways to deal with these challenges. The cooperation with a remote team of specialists feels natural because of advanced conferencing tools, whereas the effectiveness of a distributed workforce is much higher.
Leobit offers web and mobile app development services for businesses engaged in different industries and located worldwide. We help both startups and large market leaders to quickly find quality software developers for their projects. With over 120 skilled software developers, architects, QA specialists, and UI/UX designers, Leobit can back up any tech and SaaS company. Contact us to learn more about the opportunities for cooperation.