Technology isn't just disrupting existing markets. Entrepreneurs are using technology to create entirely new ones.

Due to the growing rate of innovation, we've arrived at an interesting time when virtually every market is open to disruption. Startups are forced to look beyond entrenched interests to identify their competition, opportunity, and market size. For tech entrepreneurs with an idea, it's just a matter of choosing which market to take on -- or, create an entirely new one. These emerging markets are creating new challenges in sales, marketing and customer service.

And while new verticals like mobile and fintech have gained visibility over time, these categories didn't just appear out of nowhere. They grew from business needs and challenges -- sometimes even challenges posed by new technology.

So, what are the next up-and-coming tech verticals creating new business opportunities and career paths? Here are three worth keeping an eye on.

1. The World Is Ready for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Optimization

The influx of SaaS applications in the business world has never been greater. As organizations embrace more SaaS solutions, American research and advisory firm Gartner expects 37 percent of traditional IT spending to shift to the cloud by 2020. This shift has created new challenges.

"Businesses are using so many different SaaS solutions that managing them has become its own problem," says Robin Salter, CMO of KWIPPED, a B2B equipment rental and leasing marketplace.

And it's true. Whether it's IT, accounting, HR, marketing, sales or customer service, it's not unusual for organizations to become entangled in a web of licensed, task-specific SaaS solutions.  

Enter: SaaS for SaaS.

This need for businesses to keep track of all their SaaS applications has opened the door for providers like Zylo, which offers solutions for optimizing SaaS applications used across enterprises. SaaS for SaaS solutions makes insight into usage -- including information about user licenses, contract renewals, and even employee sentiment -- as easy as pulling up a dashboard. The idea might sound meta, but as more organizations move to a SaaS-first mentality, SaaS optimization isn't a want -- it's a need.

2. Customers and Suppliers Will Increasingly Rely On eSourcing 

Sourcing may not be something that initially comes to mind when you think of emerging tech verticals, but technology is enabling new levels supplier competition and actionable data. This has created a demand for more cost-effective ways to approach supply chain management and has pushed eSourcing solutions like Scout RFP to the forefront. 

"Many enterprises aren't executing truly strategic supply chain management, and it's easy to see why, given that those enterprises also probably aren't taking advantage of technology-empowered sourcing," says Scout RFP CEO Alex Yakubovich. "Broadly speaking, businesses are great at leveraging new technology for consumer-facing operations, but they are not so great at introducing new tools to bolster internal practices-- such as sourcing and procurement--despite the fact that these practices are proven to drive bottom-line business outcomes."

3. Traditional Customer Success Management Will Be Disrupted

The idea of customer success management isn't exactly new. But the companies and teams that are helping customers implement software, troubleshoot problems and create solutions often are. And in the age of constant communication, it's not surprising that the way we communicate with customers is changing. Customer success is no longer just about checking in with customers periodically.

"The need for proactive customer engagement grows each day. Keeping a finger on the pulse of your customer's health is no longer enough," says Haresh Gangwani, CEO of customer success software startup, Bolstra.

Companies like Bolstra provide solutions that take complex customer success management processes and break them down into simple steps, guiding customer success reps through best practices for client engagement with the ultimate goal of increasing customer lifetime value. "Assuring customers achieve their desired outcomes and are on a path to success before they begin to fail is the new model of customer success," explains Gangwani.

Markets like SaaS optimization, customer success management, and sourcing are far from the only emerging verticals. As tech creates new verticals and opportunities, you can be sure that entrepreneurs will be ready to take on the challenge and make a splash in the market.

Published on: Nov 29, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.