Gartner Survey Indicates More Than 95 Per Cent of Organisations Expect to Maintain or Grow Their Use of SaaS Through 2010
However, Gartner found that most companies still do not have policies governing the evaluation and use of SaaS with only 39 per cent of respondents indicating that such a policy or process exists, up just 1 per cent from 38 per cent in 2008.
The survey was conducted in December 2009 and January 2010 and involved 270 IT and business management professionals from a variety of industries in North America, Europe and Asia/Pacific who were personally involved in the implementation support, implementation, planning and/or budget decisions related to the purchase of enterprise application software.
"SaaS applications clearly are no longer seen as a new deployment model by our survey base, with almost half of those surveyed affirming use of SaaS applications in their business for more than three years," said Sharon Mertz, research director at Gartner. "The varying levels of maturity within the user base suggest growing opportunities for service providers along the adoption curve, as organisations seek assistance with initiatives ranging from process redesign to implementation to integration services."
Ms Mertz said the scope of functionality of SaaS applications has broadened significantly in recent years. In terms of popularity for SaaS usage, the survey showed that email, financial management (accounting), sales force automation and customer service, and expense management are the most popular in terms of current use, with more than 30 per cent of the survey base using these types of applications.
In terms of expected investment levels in SaaS solutions over the next two years, survey respondents gave generally encouraging responses for software and service providers, with on average 53 per cent of organisations expecting to increase investment levels slightly and 19 per cent significantly. However, not all buyers intend to increase usage, with almost onequarter of all respondents expecting investment levels to remain about the same, and 4 per cent looking at a slight decrease in investment levels.
In comparing current with new investments in future onpremises and SaaS investments within their organisations, 72 per cent of respondents believe SaaS investments will increase, while 45 per cent hold the same notion about onpremises budgets. Regionally, North America and Asia/Pacific respondents indicated a stronger interest in procuring solutions via a SaaS model, and, compared with those in Europe, showed greater confidence that their organisations will increase investments in products offered as SaaS or through a subscription model through yearend 2010.
However, the survey found that some organisations have found SaaS solutions to be less than optimal for some buyers, and 16 per cent of respondents said that they are transitioning from SaaS to onpremises solutions. Although there was no single outstanding reason that caused respondents to shift to onpremises, in general, the majority of organisations in this position was facing significant integration requirements and became unsatisfied with a TCO that became too high.
Despite the continuous adoption of SaaS across regions, more than onethird of the respondents have noted concerns on their recent SaaS deployments. Most respondents with these issues are located outside North America, specifically in Asia/Pacific where highspeed highavailability networks, are not as readily available as in North America. Issues with integration and customisation were some of the primary issues cited by respondents overall.
"These issues aside, organisations are becoming more savvy when it comes to renegotiating their SaaS contracts," Ms Mertz said. "A key survey finding was that more organisations are renegotiating contracts for greater functionality, additional users and improved financial terms. Thirty per cent of respondents said that they had renegotiated their SaaS contracts before the end of the initial term."
Additional information is available in the report "User Survey Analysis: Software as a Service, Enterprise Application Markets, Worldwide, 2010," which is available on the Gartner's website at http://www.gartner.com/....
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