Software as a Service (SaaS) - Adoption

“SaaS is just part of a wider move towards Internet based automated services.”

Often I get questions about Software as a Service (SaaS) adoption. Unfortunately the answer isn't very straight forward. There are many factors that influence the adoption. However, it will happen eventually! Software as a Services will become a utility, like electricity did in the beginning of the last century.

At Exact Software we work on Business Software for the Small and Medium Businesses (SMB), I will try to give a clear answer from this context. The key issues to be considered are:
  • Trust, are you a trusted service vendor? A trusted Software vendor doesn't necessary make you a trusted Services vendor!
  • Value proposition, does your SaaS solution offer significant better value that a competitive On Premise solution? Software as a Service solutions allow for multiple businesses to share the same environment. This shared environment can serve as a platform for additional value and functionality such as collaboration, benchmarking, etc..
  • Market Segment, each market segment has a different rational for adoption. Is your target segment ready for SaaS?
  • Buying behavior, visionary buyers are already adopting SaaS, but conservative buyers are still holding off. Conservative buyers might however already adopt SaaS accessories to extent the life cycle of their current investments.
  • Mission Critical, how crucial is your solution for running the business? Of course all solutions are crucial for the success of a business, but still some are more important than others. The most crucial solutions might get slower SaaS adoption, because the risk for failure is larger.
  • Economy, low initial investments and pay as you go business models might be in favor in the current turbulent economy. These do
I've summarized this all in the presentation below.

At Exact Software we have seen good SaaS adoption with the Exact Online accounting solution in the Netherlands and Belgium. It's interesting to see that most buyers are young enterpreneurs in small companies and their accounting is not mission critial (it can be down for a couple of minutes). They especially value the tight collaboration with their accountants.
I personally think that adoption might accellarate, as a result of generational shifts.

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I'm having strong feelings S+S is the future:

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