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SaaStr Annual 2018 was teeming with record numbers, impactful conversations, powerful thought leadership and even puppies as I walked around. They had it all this year, including a session with our very own CEO, Darrell Benatar, and Accel Partner, Vas Natarajan. The two provided insights into how to move your company upstream by keeping current users happy and captivating new buyers. Here are some of the key soundbites they shared:
I also attended the “State of the Cloud: 2018 Edition” keynote led by Byron Deeter and Kristina Shen, both partners at Bessemer Venture Partners, to learn more about the biggest trends and predictions for the year – many already impacting us here at UserTesting. Byron and Kristina conveyed that while 2017 was dominated by talk of tech, bitcoin, and bots, 2018 would be defined by these eight predictions:
Voice is the next software battleground. By creating great software, screen interfaces will start to disappear. We recently discussed this topic here at UserTesting when one of our customers declared that “the screen is dead.” It caused us to pause and dive into what she meant and take a hard look at where technology is headed. It became clear that screenless interfaces will increasingly have success.
This prediction focuses on employees and company culture. It’s important to iterate and reiterate company vision and values and to start early. Times are changing and it’s important for companies to stay in tune with their employees. When companies create a culture that leads to an environment that people want to join and continue to work for, they’re creating value that benefits the business in the future.
Innovation is no longer relegated to Silicon Valley and that’s causing a huge wave of change. Companies and individuals can create a “unicorn” anywhere in the world and we’ll see that grow this year.
Simply put, serverless computing relieves developers of the burden of worrying about infrastructure which in turn increases developer efficiency. It enables applications to be built in more agile ways. With serverless computing, we can focus more on capabilities and develop quicker and better than before. We’re already seeing companies like Amazon roll out their serverless computing with AWS Serverless Application Repository.
Internal and external developers will work closely, pulling resources together to create innovative solutions. The quicker companies can create a space for developers to work together, the more successful they’ll be with access to fresh ideas and perspectives.
Blockchain is bringing a new wave of innovation and this will be the year that it finds its place within enterprise—particularly in the food, retail, aviation, and financial services industries. They’ll take blockchain technology to enrich their security and business functions, making operations safer and faster.
Software and payments used to live apart, but that’s no longer true. If you have the user interface, platform, and have earned consumers’ trust to handle payments, you’ve earned the opportunity to expand. We’ll see applications label themselves in “payments capabilities” and then upsell from there.
This year will be all about how companies can save their users time on their application. Users want to be able to get what they need efficiently and without sacrificing their experience. This is where AI and machine learning will come into play and help support this system of results.
2018 will be a year full of exciting changes throughout the SaaS world. It’s time for all businesses and brands to keep a close eye on how these trends and predictions will impact their companies this year.
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