SaaS adoption continues to grow, survey says

Nov. 28, 2012
Companies cite customer relationship management and enterprise content management systems as the most common newly deployed software-as-a-service applications

A new survey from Gartner Inc. says Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) continues to gain popularity among users of enterprise software solutions, with more than 70% of organizations saying they have used SaaS for less than three years. Gartner surveyed more than 550 business organizations across 10 countries over the summer and found that firms are most likely to implement new customer relationship and content management systems or replace existing supply chain management and social media platforms with cloud-based software solutions.

Gartner surveyed companies in North and South America, Europe and Asia/Pacific and found enterprise software users in Brazil had the largest number of new SaaS users, with nearly 30% saying they have used the technology for less than a year. 

SaaS investments are expected to grow in all regions, with 77% of total respondents expected to increase spending on the technology and 17% saying they plan to keep spending the same amount. More than 80% of respondents in Brazil and Asia/Pacific said they will spend more on SaaS applications over the next two years; 73% of U.S. respondents and 71% of European respondents said they intend to increase SaaS spending.

Implementing new solutions or replacing existing solutions are the primary drivers for using SaaS, Gartner said, adding that new solutions are driving forces in Asia/Pacific while more mature markets in Europe and the United States cite solution replacement as the key driver.

Customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise content management (ECM) are the most commonly implemented new solutions;  supply chain management (SCM), Web conferencing, teaming platforms and social media are the most frequently implemented replacements for on-premises software solutions.

Despite the growing popularity of the technology, researchers say they don’t expect business organizations to completely migrate to SaaS solutions.

“The decision to deploy SaaS-based applications within an enterprise is dependent on the business-criticality of the solution as well as geography, business agility, usage scenario and IT architecture. Few organizations will completely migrate to SaaS. These organizations will live with a mix of SaaS and traditional on-premises application deployment models with a focus on integration and migration between different deployment models," said Gartner research vice president Charles Eschinger.

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About the Author

Victoria Fraza Kickham | Distribution Editor

Victoria Kickham is the distribution editor for Electronic Design magazine, SourceESB and, where she covers issues related to the electronics supply chain. Victoria started out as a general assignment reporter for several Boston-area newspapers before joining Industrial Distribution magazine, where she spent 14 years covering industrial markets. She served as ID’s managing editor from 2000 to 2010. Victoria has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in English from Northeastern University.