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The IT Management Implications of SaaS Growth

THINKstrategies recently unveiled the initial findings of its fourth annual Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) customer survey, in conjunction with Cutter Consortium, which revealed that 63% of the responding organizations are using a SaaS solution -- almost double the 32% who were using SaaS solutions in 2007.

Over the past four years, we have seen tremendous growth of the SaaS market spurred along by rising frustration with the challenges of deploying traditional software products and the hassles of keeping enterprise applications up and running.

Our surveys were the first to find widespread interest and substantial adoption of SaaS in 2005.

Changing workplace requirements have led to more workers needing to access applications and corporate data remotely, which has also led many organizations to adopt web-based SaaS solutions.

The Shift Away from CAPEX
But, the most important consideration has been the financial savings generated by shifting from upfront capital investments in perpetual licenses and systems to a more flexible, 'pay-as-you-go', subscription model. This approach has become particularly attractive in today's tough economic climate.

Despite these advantages, many IT organizations were reluctant to accept SaaS, and even resisted its adoption in many cases because of concerns about the reliability, security and performance of these web-based applications.

However in 2007, THINKstrategies survey found growing acceptance of SaaS solutions by IT professionals who were not only learning that SaaS solutions could be trusted to successfully support their business units and end-users, but also discovered that a new generation of SaaS solutions were available to help them better manage their IT operations.

Business Case for Out-Tasking IT
Leveraging SaaS and a broader array of 'cloud' computing services is an extension of the same mindset which is driving many IT departments to recognize the benefits of contracting for managed services.

This 'out-tasking' strategy allows IT professionals to offload many of the day-to-day technology deployment and management responsibilities which can be performed in a routine fashion more economically by a specialized third-party, so the IT staff can finally focus their limited time and resources on more strategic initiatives or even innovative projects.

Click here to obtain the first of a series of three Executive Update reports based on the THINKstrategies/Cutter Consortium SaaS survey results.