What are the 10 most popular SaaS subscriptions in the UK?

Software as a Service commonly referred to as SaaS is one of the fastest-growing models in the provision of business solutions.

Rather than purchasing business applications outright and hosting them on-premise, a cloud-based solution offers the option to buy software on a subscription basis. Software is then installed on state-of-the-art servers in the provider’s data centres and kept under tightly-controlled conditions. 

Data security is enhanced with regular maintenance and upgrades, ensuring that businesses always have access to the most up-to-date version.

If your business is yet to join the SaaS revolution, you may find that you’re now in the minority. SaaS uptake research reveals that almost three-quarters of companies surveyed reported that over 80% of their apps would be cloud-based by 2020, with the potential to grow over time.

Here we’ve taken a look at some of the most popular SaaS subscriptions for companies based in the UK:


Widely known for its Acrobat Reader and Photoshop programs, Adobe has now invested heavily in cloud-based software. The aim is to enable companies to interact more easily with their customers and Adobe has created SaaS products to further this initiative. 

Almost 2.5 million businesses subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud, while Adobe Marketing Cloud is the application of choice for over two-thirds of companies listed in the Fortune 50. 


An instantly-recognisable brand in computing, Microsoft has always been at the forefront of online developments. Microsoft Office 365 is exclusively cloud-based, enabling users to access their documents and spreadsheets from any connected device. Microsoft indicates that the software is used by over 200 million business users every month.


Salesforce was one of the first companies to see the benefits of SaaS and has invested heavily in the technology. The company’s Sales Cloud offers cloud-based CRM solutions that encourage sales representatives to work at maximum efficiency. There are currently around 2.5 million users of the software, but this figure is steadily increasing.


With an emphasis on manageability, security, reliability and speed, Oracle is one of the biggest SaaS providers around, coming second only to Salesforce, with over 400,000 customers. There’s an emphasis on retail and public sectors, although thanks to voice recognition technology, Oracle is now also branching out into sales-related software solutions. 


With over 150,000 global users, Cobweb claims to be the largest provider of integrated business cloud-based solutions in Europe. Hugely popular with small businesses, Cobweb has formed a partnership with Microsoft and is now part of the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Program. The most popular application is Hybrid Lync, which works in combination with Microsoft Office to cut the cost of phone and conference calls.


Used by over 260,000 customers worldwide, SAP SaaS products aim to encourage the most efficient working practices, enabling businesses to maximise profits. SAP Business ByDesign is a SaaS suite of products that can run an entire enterprise. From supply chain to customer service, including human resources, procurement, sales and financials, the software helps to streamline services. 

The package is aimed primarily at medium to large businesses, including wholesale, manufacturing and professional services.


Used by thousands of developers and more than 3,200 companies, MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform gives access to a selection of carefully integrated products encompassing both on-premises and SaaS applications. 

A glance at MuleSoft’s client list shows just how highly-regarded the software suite has become. Anypoint Platform is the software of choice for companies such as MasterCard, Walmart, Honeywell, DHL and Nokia. 

CA Technologies

CA Technologies is committed to converting older technologies into SaaS versions and has recently introduced an Enterprise Mobility Management platform, designed to improve mobile solutions. But the company also offers IT Service Management, which is aimed primarily at smaller businesses with little or no previous experience of SaaS.

Currently used by some of the top banks globally, CA Technologies SaaS solutions are also the first choice for over half of the business listed in the Global Fortune 500.


One in three Global 500 businesses choose Akamai SaaS products, and the company provides 160,000 servers worldwide. The aim is to provide optimum, secure user experience, no matter where the user is, or what device they are using.

For third party use, Akamai Cloud Networking Solutions and Web Performance Solutions have been designed to be compatible with all devices and systems. The Akamai Intelligent Platform offers transcoding and inline packaging services for digital rights enforcement and video content, with real-time analytics.


Aimed firmly at the small business market, Intuit’s ActiveBook has more than 4 million users. There’s a clear emphasis on tax preparation and financial management, with TurboTax being particularly popular. The SaaS packages enable small businesses to save time and money on accounting, helping them to keep track of their finances with minimum fuss.

While there are only ten SaaS examples listed here, there are many others available for companies that are ready to embrace an off-premise software alternative and minimise IT costs and responsibilities.

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