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SaaS Growth In 2019: What We Can Learn From 2018 Data


Cloud software (SaaS) growth continues to happen at rapid rates.

Massive change like the transition to the cloud can leave gaps — in knowledge, solutions, or visibility.

How is your SaaS looking lately? Our customers have been surprised at what they discovered in their cloud, even when they thought they knew.

In this post, we’ll look at some 2018 Deloitte survey data and some aggregate information from Alpin’s customers.

If you’re considering switching to SaaS products or evaluating your digital transformation efforts, these statistics can provide some context and rules of thumb. We hope they enhance your cloud proposals, planning, or projects.

What Does Deloitte’s 2018 Data Say About SaaS?

Deloitte conducted a global CIO survey and a global outsourcing survey. The surveys consisted of over 1,400 and over 500 respondents, respectively. Here are our biggest takeaways and why:

Growth: 93% of CIOs said they are adopting or considering the cloud, and a majority (54%) expect to use cloud software for mission critical applications within the next 3 years. Are those hesitant to adopt SaaS — due to concerns about cloud security and reliability — firmly in the minority now?

Budget: CIOs expected to double their spend on cloud-based services, from 22% to 44%, over the next 3 years. But what if a recession hits in 2019 or 2020, as some predict? Companies may make cloud services a majority of their IT budget before 2022 as an effective way to reduce costs.

Motivations: Lower costs and improved security are positives for cloud services. Scalability and agility continue to top the reasons to use cloud technology (over 70% of CIOs cited these as motiviations). However, reducing costs (44%) and enhancing security (34%) also scored well. Half of cyberattacks are directed at SMBs, and they have fewer tools or protocols to combat these attacks compared to larger companies. Could SMBs drive cloud growth to enhance their cybersecurity? I would!

How Are Companies Using SaaS?

We work with companies of all sizes, some with fewer than 50 users and others with over 10,000. Here are some interesting trends we observed in 2018:

0.5 To 1 Unique Apps Per User – If you’re estimating the number of SaaS applications you have, assume 0.5 to 1.5 unique app per user at your company. When companies are smaller, that ratio is closer to 1. For instance, for companies with 50 – 99 employees, we see 110 apps on average. For larger companies, it’s more like a unique app for every other user. Enterprises with over 10,000 users have over 5,000 cloud apps on average.

Popular App Categories –  We looked at what categories of apps tend to have the most entries at companies. Some of the results may surprise you.

  • Mobile Games – We saw that companies had, on average, 99 different mobile game subscriptions in their cloud environments. Hopefully that indicates there are many games to choose from, not that people spend their time on games! It’s an important category for security because even small games may ask for big, risky permissions — like accessing the entire inbox.
  • Project Management / Task Management – We see 7 to 9 apps within these categories. This is often an area ripe for consolidation or cost optimization.
  • File Sharing And Backup – 6 apps on average. This is an area where getting cloud file storage providers consolidated could really help from an infosec perspective. Sensitive data could be hiding in multiple platforms and not just one — and 1 is a lot easier to manage than 6.

If you’re looking to get more serious about SaaS, we have over a dozen ways to discover SaaS apps, along with financial, compliance, and security tools; contact us for a 10-minute demo. You’ll see how Alpin can work for you.

See how CoreView can help you with this

Learn more about securing and optimizing your M365 and other SaaS applications.