Rise of The Digital Nomad: How the Tech Sector is Answering the Latest Shift in The Workforce

November 14, 2018 - Baystreet.ca

A single, pivotal change in the workforce seems to be an occurrence present at least once in every generation. The most obvious in recent memory can be attributed to the World Wide Web – an entire industry was born as the Internet became a global phenomenon.

The Internet‘s rise to prominence in the late 90‘s started a shockwave effect that, even 30 years later, continues to ripple through our lives. Starting way back then, with the inception of an entire new market that would demand web designers, network technicians, and a whole world of new positions that were previously nonexistent, we have now reached a new inflection point: the shift from physical to virtual employees.

A Demographic is Born

Enter the digital nomad - young, skilled and technologically savvy professionals in their late 20s and through their 30s that have opted out of 9-to-5 office jobs, instead opting for a work-life balance that allows them to work virtually anywhere as long as they have a good internet connection. Coders, web developers, content/copy writers and social media promoters are only a few examples of the professions that are prevalent among the ranks of this new branch of the global workforce.

It is expected that by 2027, 50.9% of the US workforce will be comprised of freelancers and, by 2035, there will be a staggering 1 billion digital nomads worldwide. A shift in the traditional work structure as large as the incoming one comes with many challenges: being constantly on the road, nomads require technological solutions that cater to their needs and lifestyles and help support their business.

Software companies have entered this market with expert precision, and specialize in delivering all-in-one, cloud-hosted software solutions – along with the ancillary services needed to scale them up and down, custom-fit the platforms as needed, and a-la-carte specialized customer support. They offer a monthly subscription to access the platform, while most of the aforementioned services are traditionally available to the user for an additional fee each.

Companies such as Hootsuite, Hubspot and Zendesk primed themselves in the space early on, providing cloud-based integral solutions for CRM, marketing, sales, social media and services management to their clients. As the nomad market continues to develop, more specialized needs arise – making room for new competitors that are yet to peak to enter the arena – both as proprietor developers, while creating promising new opportunities for investors in the know.

Contenders on the Rise

One highlight-worthy private company is Zoho. This software developer offers users access to a complete office suite that includes a word editor, spreadsheets, wikis, note-taking, presentations and much more. They also offer bookkeeping, CRM and marketing solutions - to name only a few of its over 30 products. Clients can access its ever-growing selection of apps for a monthly fee, and access them from anywhere.

One currently undervalued SaaS company offering exposure to many different high-growth software technologies is Subscribe Technologies (CSE:SAAS). The only publicly-traded incubator/accelerator company like itself in the space, SAAS develops and acquires promising early-stage software businesses that it looks to invest in and help scale upward. Subscribe already has several projects in revenue in its portfolio, such as FileQ - its own cloud-storage service that allows for massive uploads and rapid downloads for its premium members; ServerHawk - a wide-ranging website and social media analysis and reporting tool; SiteSafe.IO - a one-stop-shop solution for website security and monitoring; and Gingerly - their flagship, scalable business management tool for entrepreneurs. Their assorted portfolio offers entrepreneurs, SMEs, e-comm businesses, social media influencers, and many other types of customers a suite of services to supercharge their business, as well as a great vehicle for investors to access a portfolio of high-growth SaaS platforms and companies at once; thus reducing risk and increasing upside potential.

A final stand-alone platform of note is FreshBooks. The cloud-based accounting platform allows its clients to track, categorize and bill their sales in a streamlined and painless way. It also makes it easy for them to accept credit card payments from anywhere in the world, and tracks the time devoted to each client, which it automatically exports into their final bills. A must for remote workers with an increasing clientele.

Those are only some notable standouts from the sea of companies that are positioning themselves to service the growing demand from entrepreneurs around the world looking for tools that help empower their businesses. Improved streamlining, CRM hubs suited for remote employment, more efficient reporting and accounting tools, and social media management hubs are only some of the unique features that are on the horizon. There has never been a better time to start a business online or, as an investor, to acquire an early position in a project that could become the next Hubspot or Shopify.

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