The SaaS ‘clustering’ phenomenon

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One of the more interesting recent developments in the SaaS market has been the emergence of application ‘clusters’ – complementary applications that are frequently being deployed alongside each other in support of a specific business process or function. One example is the common set of application types and apps that are being seen around sales/sales ops, which many times includes:

While we’re not seeing each of these application types at every organization we talk to, the vast majority do seem to have some permutation of the types and specific apps listed above. When skeptics question the current estimated average number of SaaS apps being deployed at organizations, it’s interesting to consider the case above, where a typical sales rep could easily require 6 apps alone! While Salesforce / AppExchange is clearly driving some of the ‘clustering’ effect around sales ops, it also appears that once Sales teams become comfortable with the SaaS model, they leverage it wherever possible. HR appears to be another function where a ‘clustering effect’ seems to be emerging. We at Conformity believe this dynamic is what’s driving the accelerating SaaS adoption rates being seen across the market – once organizations ‘dip their toe in the water’ with a single SaaS app and find out that ‘the water’s fine’, they then tend to dive in and leverage the model wherever possible..

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