SaaS Grows Up and Validates the Cloud

21 Comments

The next generation of highly successful software as a service (SaaS) companies will likely focus on delivering collaboration and IT management, according to a report out today from Forrester Research. The report takes a look at the SaaS infrastructure and lays out the case for continued SaaS adoption among certain groups of applications (see chart).

What caught my eye, though, was that professional services firms were building up support for various SaaS applications such as Safesforce.com (s CRM) and GoogleApps (s GOOG). As such an ecosystem develops around software as a service, it’s clear to me that the phenomenon, which essentially requires trusting a service based in the cloud, heralds the eventual acceptance of actual cloud computing, where IT infrastructure is delivered from the cloud. Because, if a business is already exporting its proprietary customer information to outside providers, its servers won’t be too far behind — especially in this economic environment.

saas

21 Comments

Collaboration and SaaS

Collaboration does seem to be one of the areas where SaaS has been most successful. CRM is what popularized it, and it seems like collaboration is what will take it further for the next few years.

Ranjit Nayak

As RR points out it is counter intuitive that fewer companies are interested in SaaS in 2008.

I would also think that Cloud computing validates SaaS and not the other way round. Security of data is seen as impediment to SaaS not the fact that data centers and computing power is housed outside an enterprise. Hosting companies and co-location providers have serviced clients for several years. Companies have not insisted on keeping the servers in their offices. They have however insisted on tight control of data and security of the data. With cloud computing they are willing to use infrastructure, platform services and application services from outside the enterprise. Application services which are really SaaS, need access to enterprise data and most likely store this data locally.

In conclusion I’d argue that companies open to using Cloud services would be more open to using SaaS.

Ranjit

Eric Ly

SaaS definitely has a place in corporations in the future. Software packages have become way too complicated or costly for even experienced IT departments to manage, especially in this era where integration of data and services is key and makes the technology and management of it even more complicated. SaaS places the burden of maintenance in the hands of the experts, the people who built the software, freeing IT departments from having to manage complex technology. SaaS has the benefit of reducing IT cost while giving all the benefits of the software to users. I don’t see a downside.

But it does take a rethink of the software and how it should best work in a hosted environment with all the considerations of security and privacy while leveraging the opportunities that information can now beneficially be shared in ways that were never possible before.

Eric

Ophir Kra-Oz

Moving all the applications to SalesForce like model is problematic if one does not want to commit to them.
On the other hand rewriting all the on premise applications from scratch is also going to take a lot of time.
Therefore the success of SaaS does not predict exactly the success of current cloud computing.
Clouds that could run the current enterprise applications unchanged might be able to bridge the gap, since they allow to use Infrastructure as a service benefits without rewriting all the IT.

courtney benson

Brian said it all. Innovation is the name of the game, clients are open and listening. As more MSPs come on line, you’ll see a sea of change. Took a look at your company Brian – very interesting!

Rhett Glauser

Don’t get me started on SaaS vs. ASP…too late. Legacy vendors are turning to the ASP model to serve up their old client / server software and calling it SaaS. True SaaS is a new, Net-native application that is consumed and delivered via the Internet.

It is up to consumers to ask the right questions to make sure they get real benefit from SaaS.

The ASP model died once. I predict it will die again at the hands of the traditional software vendors who couldn’t adopt to the disruption of true SaaS. The big software vendors may have enough cash to sustain fake SaaS for a time, but customers will see through the charade.

Brian de Haaff’s comments are spot on. Resist a legacy of bad IT management software from the big four.

Rhett
Service-now.com

Santiago

Whatever happened to the ASP (application service provider) moniker?

Is SaaS not the same as ASP?

GoEverywhere Team

On our recent blog post we chat about What SaaS is and how it’s changing the game and is making industry giants look at how they are operating. You’re no longer tied to a single computer to access your files and do your work. You’re not even tied to a computer! You can start working on something on your computer and then use your web enabled phone to edit the document or send it to a client. With SaaS users don’t have to worry about their computer crashing or losing their data – because everything they’ve uploaded to their webtop sits on a cloud elsewhere.

Brian de Haaff

Exactly.

There is precious little being said by the major players in the infrastructure and operations management categories (e.g. HP, BMC, CA, and IBM). It appears that the greatest opportunity for massive market disruption will come from companies delivering SaaS offerings for cloud and IT management. You still need to monitor your infrastructure when you move some of it into the cloud and a bifurcated IT environment (some on prem and some in the cloud) will make that even more difficult.

Businesses have been hurt by massive enterprise software IT management implementation failures and are generally fatigued by the lack of innovation that is taking place by the traditional vendors. And the same is true for MSPs, who are now looking for a multi-tenant, SaaS based environment to manage hundreds or thousands of their clients.

Brian de Haaff
CEO
Paglo
IT Management SaaS
http://www.paglo.com

Brian de Haaff

Exactly.

There is precious little being said by the major players in the infrastructure and operations management categories (e.g. HP, BMC, CA, and IBM). It appears that the greatest opportunity for massive market disruption will come from companies delivering SaaS offerings for cloud and IT management. You still need to monitor your infrastructure when you move some of it into the cloud and a bifurcated IT environment (some on prem and some in the cloud) will make that even more difficult.

Businesses have been hurt by massive enterprise software IT management implementation failures and are generally fatigued by the lack of innovation that is taking place by the traditional vendors. And the same is true for MSPs, who are now looking for a multi-tenant, SaaS based environment to manage hundreds or thousands of their clients.

Brian de Haaff
CEO
Paglo
IT Management SaaS
http://www.paglo.com

RR

Stacey- Forrester famously predicted Amazon would go out of Business some years ago, so worth taking their insight with a pinch of salt!

Is Forrester suggesting here that based on 2008 survey, lesser companies are interested in SaaS adoption compared to 2007? That seems counter-intuitive, I would expect more interest unless the respondents haven’t understood what SaaS means.

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