The SaaS Industry in 2021

Published on February 5, 2021
Last Updated on June 1, 2022

How fast is SaaS growing?

Just a decade ago, the majority of businesses weren’t thinking about migrating to the cloud. Today, trends in 2021 show a different story. Gartner forecasts that worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services will grow by 18.4% this 2021 to total $304.9 billion, up from $257.5 billion in 2020. [1]. 

Among the host of other cloud options, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) appears to be the forerunner一forecasted to reach $157 billion in size in 2020, more than double its market size in 2014 [2]. Not only that, the industry’s growth will remain consistent as the post-COVID era empowers more companies to adopt SaaS solutions across their operations. After all, through SaaS platforms, users within the organizations can connect to a suite of services in the cloud, eliminating the strenuous maintenance processes of on-premises software [3].

SaaS Trends to Watch Out for in 2021

Several innovations were triggered and accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis. There’s pressure to stay competitive in this new business environment which requires new strategies, processes, and, sometimes, models. Now, more than ever, this presents a vast opportunity to boost the growth of SaaS companies.

The following trends will be the driving forces behind the most important developments for 2021:

1. Data labeling software. Data labeling, also called data annotation/tagging/classification, is the process of preparing tagged (i.e. labeled) datasets for machine learning. These models can then identify the same patterns in data that have not been labeled after a sufficient amount of labeled data is processed. It is important to note that the Global Market Insights estimated the data labeling/annotation tools market value at $700 million in 2019. They expect it to grow to $5.5 billion by 2026 and register more than 30% CAGR throughout the forecast period.

Aside from the different data labeling tools available in the market such as MedTagger and image tagger, there are also data labeling workforce options to consider:

  • Full/Part-time employees (In-house). It is an expensive approach for developed countries, however, it provides a great solution for quality output and track progress.
  • Outsourced employees (Managed cloud workers). Outsourcing is a cheaper alternative to in-house since most outsourcing providers would staff their teams with employees in developing countries. To further ensure quality at the highest level, the organizations combine vetted, trained, and actively managed remote data labelers with an in-house team.
  • Data labeling companies (Contractors). Though this provides a very cost-effective solution, it could also pose serious privacy risks. This option is also not advised for businesses focused on rare problem solving and building machine learning solutions.
  • Crowdsourcing. This provides the fastest and cheapest solution, however, it does not guarantee confidentiality as well as quality results [10].

2. Micro-SaaS. A micro-SaaS product is aimed at a niche market with a small but dedicated customer base. It can be a stand-alone product but also an add-on to another product. Boomerang for Gmail, for example, is an add-on micro-SaaS product while Grammarly is a stand-alone micro-SaaS product. Additionally, micro-SaaS products are highly focused. They are designed around the needs of the user and they easily solve a clearly defined problem. The development of a micro-SaaS product is therefore very similar to that of a minimum viable product (MVP).

3. People-centric or human-centered software. Coined as the new “Internet of Behaviors,” people-centricity combines existing technologies to serve the individual in the best and most appropriate way. Facial recognition, location data, big data, and behavioral data enable this tech to make every experience valuable. Throughout the development process, the focus is on the behavior, experience, privacy of the people who use the software, and the lives it impacts.

4. Net Dollar Retention (NDR). NDR is a metric expressed as a percentage. It illustrates the (changed) revenue of current users that a company can retain compared to another period, taking into account downgrades, upgrades, and churn. For years, SaaS entrepreneurs and investors have focused on MRR (monthly recurring revenue) but this will change soon as NDR becomes one of the most important metrics of 2021. Smart SaaS entrepreneurs shift their focus from a conversion funnel to a retention funnel. In many cases, this is a matter of prioritizing “Human-Centered Design.”

5. Integration of SaaS products for a holistic design. One of the growing concerns is on using too many SaaS applications and the general impact they will have on the efficiency of a company. In response, SaaS vendors are increasingly offering integrations either through third-party APIs or by equipping their software with integration capabilities [11].

SaaS and Us: How can TaskUs Help SaaS Companies Scale their Business?

Competition in the SaaS world today is fierce but what differentiates a startup and a large organization from each other is their business growth strategies. After all, growth is the ultimate goal for any business and to achieve success, startups must have a competitive edge and must take a healthy dose of risk. 

The answer is through outsourcing. This transition is essential in providing the freedom to focus on the things that drive the biggest ROI. For a long time, outsourcing was considered as a strategy exclusive for giant firms. Today, technology has transformed it to become an accessible tool for small organizations, making a powerful impact on their productivity and core functions [16]. 

Customer support is crucial for SaaS companies. By providing them with a customer-focused support strategy, we can keep track of important metrics such as churn rate and their Net Promoter Score (NPS), making sure they are always at their maximum. Keeping our SaaS clients customers insanely happy helps our clients keep and grow their customer base. [17]. This is because a service-focused company’s reputation and reviews are one of the most important factors influencing customers’ decision to buy and subscribe.

TaskUs has always fostered the growth mindset of our clients and, in fact, has strengthened the end game goals of several companies towards scaling up and digitization. One example is a video conferencing client that exceptionally and aggressively ramped up their digital customer support in just three months. TaskUs allow companies to have unmatched scalability and flexibility that an internal team couldn’t afford.

If you'd like to know more about the different ways in which TaskUs adds value to SaaS and other Hi-Tech companies, visit Us here.


  1. Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud End-User Spending to Grow 18% in 2021
  2. Software as a service (SaaS) market worldwide 2008-2020 
  3. What To Expect From The Rapidly Growing (And Evolving) Software As A Service Market In 2021
  4. Software as a Service (SaaS)
  5. How SaaS Is Changing the Web Design Industry
  6. Cloud Vs SaaS: What’s the Difference?
  7. 5 Reasons to Consider SaaS for Your Business Applications
  8. Advantages and disadvantages of Software as a Service (SaaS)
  9. SaaS Readiness Assessment
  10. Data Labeling in 2021: How to Choose a Data Labeling Partner 
  11. The most important SaaS and software trends for 2021. 
  12. Top 75 SaaS Companies 2021
  13. The 10 Best SaaS Companies (2021)
  14. The Top 36 SaaS Companies & Products to Watch Out For
  15. Top 10 Fast-Growing SaaS Startups to Follow in 2021
  16. How to Build a Better Business with Outsourcing
  17. 7 Useful Tips to Scale Your SaaS Business
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Brett Ransom
VP, HiTech