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SMBs have specific SaaS needs

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14th Mar 2007
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Small and medium-sized business adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS) is driven more by interest in customised solutions rather than broader benefits. Some 5.1 percent of small and 15.2 percent of medium-sized firms owning PCs plan to adopt a SaaS solution during the next 12 months, according to International Data Corporation research.

“SaaS is intuitively appealing as a method of software delivery to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), but they have not been adopting SaaS as quickly as originally anticipated, even though the reality of their move to SaaS is greater than their perception,” said IDC analyst Merle Sandler. “Providers of on-demand software face a number of challenges when targeting SMBs, including establishing appropriate sales channels and deciding how best to market to these firms.”

IDC found in its survey that small businesses most often are interested in CRM and remote access management SaaS solutions, while medium businesses are more focused on payroll and HR applications delivered over the internet.

SaaS providers need to consider three other key factors for SMBs: cost, ability to easily add new users, reducing the workload of IT staff.

One of the main roadblocks to SaaS adoption among SMBs is concern about data security. Providers need to prove that their solutions offer security on par with traditional desktop solutions.

The ability to pay for capabilities as needed is the main factor encouraging small businesses (SBs) to use SaaS. Adding new users without difficulty and easing the workload of IT staff are factors nearly as important for medium-sized businesses (MBs).

Other key findings of the study include that SBs are most interested in adding CRM and software to handle remote access from other locations, while MBs are most likely to move to the online delivery of payroll and HR applications.

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By MarkJStonham
16th Mar 2007 16:23

Our experience of SaaS is in the e-communications area. As a publisher and marketing agency we use a hosted email marketing solution to deliver a number of projects for various clients.

This provides us with access to a solution with the functionality, performance, capacity, robustness and security demanded by large corporates but at a cost that is affordable to us.

We can concentrate on delivering innovative solutions to our clients without the IT operational and management headaches associated with an in-house solution on a server.

It also gives us the flexibility of easy in - easy out. The service provider has thought through and delivered ways to save us time and money and is not a bottleneck, critical path or financial unknown as many in-house IT solutions can become.

It's a very attractive way forward, especially for SMEs who can really benefit from this approach.

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