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Sizing Up the IT Management SaaS Market

Our prior commentary on SaaS and Managed Services: Big Service Providers Plug In does a good job pointing out how various service providers are attempting to deliver a widening array of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions and managed services.

This trend is being driven by two major forces. First, the commodization of traditional transport services. Second, the shift in customer attitudes regarding IT management.

Service providers can no longer differentiate themselves based on the quality of their transport services. As a consequence, service pricing, customer loyalty and profitability of this mainstay business continue to decline.

To compensate for this erosion of their traditional transport business, service providers are seeking to deliver a new generation of value-added services which can give them greater 'stickiness' with their customers.

It's a Win-Win Scenario
At the same time, customers are seeking to offload, or out-task, a broader assortment of IT management responsibilities so they can improve the reliability of their systems and software, reduce their operating costs, and focus their limited resources on more strategic and/or innovative corporate initiatives.

THINKstrategies uncovered the growing level of interest and adoption of IT management SaaS solutions among IT professionals in 2007 as a key finding of annual survey with Cutter Consortium (download a complimentary copy of "SaaS Penetrates the IT Department").

Forrester recently published a report entitled -- "How Big is SaaS in IT Management Software?" -- which suggests that SaaS solutions only represent 1 percent of total IT management software sales today, but will grow to 10 percent by 2013.

Given that 25 percent of IT professionals who responded to THINKstrategies and Cutter Consortium's survey a year ago said they were already using SaaS solutions to address their IT management requirements, Forrester's forecast is probably low.

Multitude of SaaS Solutions
Smart vendors, service providers and VARs are recognizing this trend and seeking to win a share of this rapidly growing market. The good news for IT professionals is that they will have plenty of SaaS solutions and suppliers to chose from.

As always, the best choice will be selecting the supplier that you trust the most to meet your particular business needs and requirements.