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Companies Believe SaaS Gives Edge, Helps Yield Success: Survey  [ TMCnet ]
January 27, 2010 07:40 AM

January 26, 2010
By Narayan Bhat, TMCnet Contributor

An increasing number of companies are embracing software-as-a-service, or “SaaS,” because they consider it the most critical application that will “make a difference” in their businesses, a survey conducted by Kelton Research reported.

A vast majority of respondents, roughly 52 percent, said they are deploying SaaS for customer relationship management, or “CRM,” and business intelligence, at roughly 47 percent, though there were companies using the service for enterprise resource planning and financial systems.
Interestingly, they regard these applications as differentiators and strategic weapons to make the business yield profit. SaaS is seen as a resounding success globally with 93 percent of the companies contacted by the surveyors viewing their experience as successful.
While more than 90 percent reported their SaaS deployments as successful, more than half – 54 percent – said they were able to do more rigorous analysis of costs and business benefits before deploying SaaS-based applications.
 Among those currently using SaaS, 65 percent say they have generated a reasonable return on investment from their SaaS deployment. And, more than 62 percent of respondents report plans to increase their SaaS use in the next year.
While more than 40 percent of respondents named customer relationship management 37 percent respondents named business intelligence as crucial differentiators.
Interestingly, the survey, which was commissioned by business technology service provider Avanade, illustrates a clear disconnect between respondents' perceptions and their actual experience with SaaS technologies.
According to Aziz Virani, executive vice president of Global Technologies and Solutions at Avanade, SaaS is beginning to fundamentally change how IT is consumed and provisioned in large organizations quickly gaining acceptance in the enterprise.
“In today's technology market, companies have constrained capital budgets and IT resources, a strong desire for rapid deployment, and the need to reduce operational overhead. It is clear that companies see SaaS solutions as a viable way to meet these needs,” said Virani. “By outsourcing both critical and non-critical applications, companies can lower overall risk, reduce costs and realize value from the application faster.”
While SaaS is making major inroads, nearly one third, or 30 percent, reported more than a day of business had been lost due to a service outage. The majority of respondents say they have been using SaaS for a year or less (60 percent). Although the technology may be new to most users, one-third of respondents say they are using three or more SaaS providers.
The researcher said that the respondents included C-level executives, business leaders and IT decision-makers from 16 countries in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.