2023 SaaS Trends – Usage

The average number of SaaS apps used by each department grew by 27% to an average of 87 SaaS apps in 2023.


SaaS Usage Trends

Four SaaS apps we have dubbed "The Quad" (LinkedIn, Salesforce, Atlassian Cloud, and DocuSign) alongside Lucidchart dominate the SaaS app stacks for most teams. ChatGPT is used by all departments, making a strong debut across Marketing, Engineering, and Product tech stacks.

An organization’s tech stack is constantly evolving. Changing market conditions, shifting business strategies, and emerging technologies all play a role in how organizations and departments select which tools to buy, renew, and retire.

So, what SaaS apps have departments been buying and dropping over the last few turbulent years? Let’s find out.


PLG + strong execution = Lucidchart tops the charts as the SaaS app used by the most companies in 2023

  • Salesforce, LinkedIn, Atlassian Cloud, and DocuSign — which we have dubbed “The Quad” — dominate the top rankings across departments year over year.
  • Lucidchart beat out The Quad to top the chart in 2023 and preserved its lead over Miro, another digital collaboration platform with similar features. Lucidchart is used by 86% of Productiv customers.
  • Box and Smartsheet have held steady in the middle of the top 20 rankings.
  • Calendly climbed the highest in the ranks between 2022 and 2023, possibly driven by the rise in hybrid work.
  • Grammarly’s strong PLG motion seems to have helped to drive adoption and a 4-point rise in 2023.
  • Asana dropped off the list in 2023 with project management SaaS apps a target of consolidation.

Tool proliferation continues with an average of 83 apps per team; Engineering teams lead with 108 SaaS apps

  • Despite the desire to keep SaaS proliferation in check, the average number of SaaS apps per team grew 27% from 2022 to 2023.
  • Engineering continues to be the department with the most SaaS apps, increasing from 87 to 108. Our later analysis shows an increase in data science tools as well as developer productivity and collaboration SaaS apps.
  • IT & Security saw the largest percentage growth in the number of SaaS apps at 33%, driven by point solution tools as well as apps to help them uncover greater ROI across the business.
  • Customer Success saw the second highest percent growth as the importance of customer retention magnified between 2022 and 2023.
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"The Quad" continues to dominate the Sales SaaS app stack; ChatGPT debuts at 11th spot

  • No surprise here — Salesforce takes the top spot all three years for Sales.
  • The top 5 SaaS apps also stay remarkably consistent across years with The Quad of Salesforce, LinkedIn, Atlassian Cloud, and DocuSign holding strong.
  • ChatGPT made a strong debut in 2023, clocking in at 11.
  • Calendly gained ground each year and is beginning to solidify its position as a core Sales tool.
  • Zendesk dropped in the rankings year over year.
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"The Quad" remains strong; ChatGPT, Loom, Notion see strong debuts

  • The top 5 tools for Product remained steady year over year, with these positions occupied by the obvious larger vendors.
  • ChatGPT again showed strong traction, with a top 10 debut for Product teams in 2023.
  • Datadog rose from 19th to 13th between 2022 and 2023 as cloud and app monitoring becomes more mainstream.
  • Loom and Notion broke into the top 20 in 2023 with growing adoption among Product teams.
  • Asana dropped a descent in 2023 after holding steady from 2021 to 2022, possibly as a result of strong competition and consolidation in project management tools.


"The Quad" locks downs the top 5; surprise ChatGPT debut for operations teams

  • Again, the top 5 spots across all three years were dominated by The Quad — Salesforce, LinkedIn, Atlassian Cloud, and DocuSign.
  • The 5-10 spots remained relatively consistent for Operations between 2021 and 2023.
  • Confluence made an 8-rank jump to plant itself into the top 10 SaaS apps for Operations in 2023.ChatGPT also revealed its use to Operations teams, debuting at the 14th spot in 2023.


"The Quad" never drops from the top 5 as Canva carves out a spot as a new marketing staple; ChatGPT debuts at 10th

  • The big players remained consistent across Marketing.
  • Canva debuted on the top 20 list in 2022, then gained traction to rise into the top 10 in 2023. It’s becoming a core marketing tool for creating and collaborating on banners, posters, email templates, and other DIY graphics.
  • A lot of marketers are experimenting with ChatGPT for generative AI, copywriting, research, and more.
  • Loom debuted at 18th in 2023 and is becoming a tool for choice in marketing for video recording.

IT & Security

"The Quad" stays in the top 10; ChatGPT and Datadog enter the top 20

  • IT and Security teams get access to all corporate SaaS apps usually as administrators, which skews this list away from what would traditionally be considered IT & Security SaaS apps.
  • With that said, we can see that Jamf Pro is now an important tool for IT & Security teams given its strong position in the top 10.
  • Zendesk continued to drop in ranking.
  • ChatGPT made its debut at the 16th spot.


Figma rises year over year while Datadog maintains its strong position; ChatGPT, Notion, Loom debut in top 20

  • Engineering teams are known for rapid adoption of the best tools and we see that with the changes in ranks for various SaaS apps year over year. However, despite that variation, members of The Quad and Figma held strong positions.
  • Miro settled into a solid a strong position in the Engineering stack, landing 7th in 2023.
  • ChatGPT made its highest debut across all teams at 9th in 2023.
  • Datadog held strong at 12th across all three years.
  • Notion and Loom rose into the top 20 in 2023.
  • Smartsheet, Trello, Zendesk, Box, JetBrains, and Glassdoor all dropped out of the top 20 in 2023.

Customer Success

"The Quad" and best-of-breed “one use-case” SaaS apps are staple CS tools

  • The top 10 list of SaaS apps for Customer Success (CS) remained largely unchanged with some minor shuffling across the years.
  • Zendesk, which has been a key CS tool, saw declines year over year.
  • Loom and Canva gained traction to appear in the top 20 for the first time in 2023.
  • ChatGPT has tremendous potential for CS teams and debuted at 18th in 2023.
  • Both Trello and GitHub dropped off the top 20 list in 2023.

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