I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and have come to the conclusion – given the current state of the economy which is forcing businesses to do more with less (e.g. collect more feedback and increase customer and employee loyalty; spend less on surveying, infrastructure and staff, and yet get the same or better results) that more businesses will be taking a look at SaaS as well as Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) solutions in 2009.
Obviously, SaaS is not for every company – many companies still need on-premise installations, so the reality is that we’ll live in a dual world for some time.However, SaaS does offer some strong advantages to traditional software, including:
SaaS subscription models are an easier way to prices and budget for a solution over traditional pay-upfront models
- SaaS makes it easier to mash-up data, which is a great way to see what’s happening and find new ways to grow
- SaaS feedback management solutions can fulfill on the promise of anonymity, whereas on-premise, by nature, cannot offer anonymity. Many people, especially employees, want to provide feedback but are unwilling if they believe the company will discover them, especially if the feedback is negative
- SaaS offers a fast implementation, and an always-updated promise that is very attractive to many companies because the IT group does not need to get involved in any way
Industry analysts have a lot to say about SaaS, too:
Gartner, Forrester and IDC cite SaaS as critical in recessionary times. They say SaaS cuts costs and conserves cash, providing flexibility and new efficiencies. – Gartner Market Trends Report 2007-2012, Forrester, Cloud Computing Report 2008, IDC, IT Cloud Services Report, 2008
Nine out of 10 organizations expect to maintain or grow their SaaS products, citing cost-effectiveness and ease/speed of deployment. Key drivers of high SaaS engagement include:
- Total cost of ownership
- Unmet performance expectations with on-premise solutions
- Changes in sourcing strategy
Gartner 2008 SaaS Adoption Report
“Need more evidence of the traction gained by software-as-a-service (SaaS)? Nearly nine out of 10 organizations expect to maintain or grow their usage of SaaS products. With the economy weak and financing difficult to obtain, companies are looking for ways to reduce upfront costs as well as total cost of ownership for technologies needed to run their businesses.” – DestinationCRM, Dec 5 2008, SaaS Gets Strong Loyalty Marks
As I mentioned before, SaaS is not for everyone. But for more and more companies, SaaS EFM solutions, such as those offered by Allegiance, may just be combination they’re looking for to accomplish their goal of doing more with less in 2009.
Chris Cottle, VP Corporate Marketing, Allegiance