| 10.3°C Dublin

What happens in Silicon Valley ricochets around the tech world


Silicon Valley is home to giants like Apple, Google and Meta, and startups and venture capitalists. Photo: Uladzik Kryhin

Silicon Valley is home to giants like Apple, Google and Meta, and startups and venture capitalists. Photo: Uladzik Kryhin

Silicon Valley is home to giants like Apple, Google and Meta, and startups and venture capitalists. Photo: Uladzik Kryhin

As the global epicentre of technological innovation, California’s Silicon Valley is the vanguard for industry trends. What happens in the Valley soon ricochets around the world so it pays for business leaders and managers to keep abreast of what trends are emerging .

Given the current global economic challenges, it is important that businesses are dynamic and willing to embrace new technologies which can help the evolution of your business in response to unexpected challenges.

At the outset of 2023, there are five important emerging software-as-a-service (SaaS) trends, which are noteworthy for any Irish business that has ambitions to scale internationally.

1. Predictive analytics are on the rise

Even though predictive analytics is not new, more companies are going to adopt it in the year ahead, given the shift in buying and consumption patterns.

Heavy investment in expensive data software does not yield results unless data is structured and analysed to derive actionable insights.

Investing in and adopting predictive analytics will help organisations by providing them with insights, as well as selecting the best course of action based on that information. ​

An Irish firm that is making waves in this space is Newswhip whose predictive media intelligence platform can forecast social media engagement on any story posted online.

Newswhip counts global giants such as Google, The New York Times, Walmart, Ford, PepsiCo and McDonald’s among their impressive roster of clients. It enables brands to quantify and predict the impact of a potential crisis or new development and respond with confidence.

2. AI powers the best emerging software

Software doesn’t need a machine learning algorithm to get traction, but artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly powering innovation. For example, Spotify uses machine learning to help enhance individual user experiences by curating personalised song suggestions.

AI extends into the actual automation of business processes, practices and the development of personalised B2B and B2C solutions.

Irish companies are leading the way in using disruptive AI. Inclusio, for example, is a third-level spin-out enterprise SaaS platform underpinned by behavioural science, psychology, data and ethical AI. Established in 2020 by Sandra Healy, it facilitates improved diversity and inclusion in the workplace by tackling sub-conscious cultural bias.

3. Low-code is becoming the norm

Developers are increasingly building apps and websites with low-code platforms.

Low-code (and its cousin, no-code) opens up app development to the millions of non-coders who want to get into the SaaS market. For example, Claris, an Apple company, developed a low-code platform. Through it, it delivers a suite of services, which businesses can use to create, share, and integrate custom apps to make the workplace better.

4. PaaS platforms help start-ups scale faster

In 2023, we expect to see SaaS migrate further towards platform-as-a-service (PaaS). These tools offer improved agility, scalability and security, and empower businesses to build custom apps as add-ons to their original services.

Amazon subsidiary AWS has been a game changer in this field. Before AWS, start-ups had to build their own server infrastructure and figure out how to scale up and deploy add-ons as they grew.

Today, most SaaS products host everything on Amazon’s cloud platform. For example, Deliveroo used AWS tools to help expand its geographical reach while gaining an edge over its direct competitors by using a raft of in-built platform features.

5. APIs and increasing Chatbots

Chatbots are computer programs that simulate human conversation in lieu of providing direct contact with a live human agent. Chatbots are growing in popularity, as they can provide a more natural way for humans to interact with computers. Additionally, chatbots can be integrated with applications to provide a more seamless experience for users.

Enterprise Ireland client company, Servisbot, has a conversational AI platform that helps businesses automate interactions across customer and employee journeys using AI.

Its platform offers a suite of tools and services that enable IT and businesses to easily build digital/virtual assistants/chatbots.

Today, AI is at the forefront of how businesses operate, advance strategies, and forecast future needs. As we enter 2023, there are undoubtedly challenges in the global macroeconomic environment, but Irish companies with cutting-edge technologies win sync with the latest Silicon Valley trends, are well positioned to prosper.

Niamh O’Donnell is Enterprise Software Portfolio Lead, Enterprise Ireland, in San Francisco. Enterprise Ireland client companies interested in learning more about how they can scale while building on these trends are welcome to contact her.

Most Watched