Over the two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, the traditional workflow of most office companies has undergone irreversible changes. Since 2020, 90% of employees have started working remotely. According to Owl Labs, 77% of participants are satisfied with the current work schedule. The WFH (Work From Home) trend did not affect work productivity: about 75% of respondents are happy with their results, although 20% of respondents claim that average monthly working hours increased by 26 hours.
While employees and managers generally liked the transition to remote mode, employers did not share the general enthusiasm since they lost the ability to monitor and control the workflow. Moreover, 25% of organizations were forced to pay for equipment for subordinates: computers, laptops, webcams, and furniture for arranging a workplace at home. For example, Stanford compensated employees for part of the cost of equipment (about $250) but saved all the rights to the acquired property. In the case of hybrid work, the management leased the devices on a security deposit of $750, which is mentioned in Stanford’s official WFH guide.
What Difficulties Do Employees Face When Switching to WFH?
The main problem of the remote work model is a poor connection with the main company’s server. Statista ranks this problem first with 41% of dissatisfied respondents. The second challenge is resolving issues in a virtual environment (about 34% of respondents). Poor technical support closes the list of leaders of negative employee feedback (32%). It also includes account decentralization, overprotection of data, and general technology fatigue.
These challenges are relevant for most remote workers. Modern digital SaaS solutions come to the rescue, aiming to correct almost all the shortcomings of existing systems. According to Gartner, spending on cloud technologies and SaaS will reach $145 billion in 2022, which emphasizes their demand in the market. Their integration into workflows will facilitate remote work and centralize managing corporate tools. Gartner also admits that the cost of implementing social cloud platforms in 2022 will rise by 14.0% and reach $5.1 billion. They include IT solutions like Zoom, GDrive, and other public web apps. The popularity of video conferencing apps is confirmed by Zoom, with 300 million active daily sessions.
Security and Privacy of Cloud Solutions
Protection against cybercrime is discussed at all major global IT conferences. SaaS solutions partially solve the problem of data leakage thanks to blockchain and end-to-end encryption technologies. For example, Zoom developers use 256-bit AES GCM keys and a decentralized communication channel. It is stated in their security report for April 2020.
Targeted information theft from corporate networks does not exceed 28% of the total number of leaks, according to Better Cloud. 55% of respondents say that there are no tools for tracking user actions in their systems. Thus, 72% of the lost data is leaked by accident, mostly because of neglect by ordinary employees. Now the problem is solved by multi-level authentication and differentiation of access rights, but this solution is not yet perfect and has the potential for further development.
What Opportunities Does SAAS Open Up for Ordinary Users?
The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns changed people’s daily lives. Education in schools and universities has been transformed into digital meetings via video conferences and chats or stopped at all. The stagnation of the offline entertainment sector forced many isolated users to look for activities online.
One of the solutions for self-education and skill improvement is online courses designed as SaaS. The WHO showed a high level of people’s involvement in training materials. As of December 2021, more than six million users have registered on the platform, and about three million have successfully passed digital exams and received certificates. The statistics of video views on the resource show a figure of 27 million, and streaming hours reached about 700 thousand.
The total lockdown at the beginning of 2020 made it impossible to go to gyms or sporting events. Many lovers of a healthy lifestyle had to abandon such activities and isolate themselves at home. A survey by Mind Body Online, a SaaS system for broadcasting workouts, found that 33% of respondents continued to do sports at home, using equipment and advice from mentors. Demand for streaming platforms for online fitness increased by 80% during this period, and 85% of those surveyed confirmed their daily sessions with virtual coaches. The number has decreased recently, but 37% of respondents who give up training admit they are ready to resume activity if the cost of subscription to sports apps decreases.
During the pandemic, an alternative to traditional sports, the so-called eSports, has become popular. Streaming services like Twitch or Youtube are SaaS products that continue to build virtual muscle by increasing the number of active users. Statista conducted a survey and found that 63% of respondents under 17 became addicted to digital competitions during the lockdown. Among the older category (25-35 years old), only 42% are interested in virtual gaming events. The eSports fan base, on average, is under 24. Despite the young age of users involved in digital sports, eSports events are in demand. Even celebrities follow trends and often appear in front of a virtual audience. Remember Travis Scott’s Fortnite concert.
The habit of scrolling Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook in the morning has become commonplace for most Internet users. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020, Instagram is a popular place for communication and content-making with over one billion accounts worldwide. Two age groups stand out among the most devoted fans of the platform: 18-24 and 25-34. According to Statista, they make up 62.2% of respondents. Instagram is a traditional representative of SaaS products that have become popular among fans of communication and content.
How Does SAAS Blur the Boundaries for Users?
Total digitization has led gender, racial, and language barriers to fade into the background. Back in 2019, Viber added a helpful feature for translating messages. Soon, adaptive technology for text and speech translation will be released. It will change regular communication and allow us to talk to all nationalities in real time without restrictions. Now it is just a concept, but streaming automatic translation will soon become part of all SaaS communication services and apps.
Remember the mandatory requirements of most vacancies? Those that bind candidates to specific locations or limit jobs for people with disabilities. So, with SaaS solutions, these items disappear from the texts of recruiters. Remote employment removes restrictions and equalizes the rights and opportunities of all employees. Cloud systems, streaming video conferences, and corporate tools are now available from anywhere in the world.
The role of SaaS is greatly underestimated both in work and in everyday life. However, those days are coming to an end. According to O’Reilly, 88% of respondents have already decided on partial digitization, and 25% plan to completely transfer their products to the cloud. Remote work allows you to effectively combine work and family duties, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The 2022 trends show significant business involvement in developing SaaS and IT in general. It means that investments in science and digital development will not stop in the next decade, and we will soon enjoy the joint work of scientists and programmers. Cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and more are waiting to be presented to the world.
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