Nearly 20 years after SaaS giants such as Salesforce and NetSuite made their foray into the world of enterprise applications, we still see SaaS disrupting the traditional software world at a fast pace. SaaS growth remains high — with legacy software vendors pivoting to more (or all) SaaS and new disruptive vendors entering markets as primarily (or only) SaaS. But there is one important frontier still on the horizon: SaaS ecosystems, especially those specific to an industry. SaaS is an ideal model for ecosystems because the services-based architecture and “one version” approach make it easier to build deep (not surface-level) integrations and to facilitate many-to-many customer scenarios — such as real-time connection between patients, providers, and payers in the healthcare industry.

The industry has a long way to go and will be the subject of new research in 2019. In the meantime, check out my recent interview with Forrester Research Director Allen Bonde on SaaS ecosystems and SaaS for industry.