Thursday, August 14, 2008

SaaS Business Process Outsourcing Buying Attitude

Citrix just published the results of a survey on the purchasing behavior, perceptions, and attitudes towards Software-as-a-Service. The survey results indicate that 15% of respondents are more likely to purchase a SaaS solution over a premised-based solution, if given the choice. That is 1 in 7, which to me shows that there is a lot of inertia in the IT space.

The first step in the survey was to gauge how familiar people are with SaaS. 31% indicated that they considered themselves knowledgable, whereas 50% felt less comfortable, and 19% had never heard of the term.

When asked which top five categories of applications they would consider purchasing as a service, Remote Access was number one (given that Citrix commissioned this study that is hardly surprising). The full rankings are shown in the following graph:

That only 15% of the respondents thought the SaaS model to be more attractive than on-premise software deployment is very telling. It shows that most people can't phantom switching processes/vendors/applications, and this is understandable. Very few software vendors make it easy to get data out of their systems, so creating the automation and validation procedures to transition is too much for many SMEs. Secondly, from a risk point of view, providing continuity during the switch-over is a daunting task, and something that most executives would rather avoid till the old system is so broken that it hurts. This is typically when the organization runs into financial trouble at which point reinvesting in something better is kinda the wrong time. Still, all understandable

Most SaaS providers understand this dilemma and provide lots of tools to serialize data from and to different systems. There are also plenty of third party solutions that make this process much more palatable. Cast Iron Systems is such a provider which allows on-premise and on-demand solutions for these ETL tasks.

No comments: