Businesses still clueless over SaaS

Time for software as a service lessons

Time for software as a service lessons

Many businesses are still not warming to software a service (SaaS), according to BT.

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Speaking to silicon.com, general manager of SaaS at BT Business, Chris Lindsay, said: "One of the problems that we've unearthed in a survey that we did recently was about 81 per cent of customers we spoke to didn't really know about software as a service and hadn't really considered that as part of their plans for their business."

Lindsay added, the message about the benefits of SaaS still needs to be spread. "It's quite eye-opening really in terms of the lack of awareness but [also] the benefits are very clearly spelt out by the customers who have adopted the services," he said.

According to research by BT - which recently linked up with NetSuite and SugarCRM for SaaS applications - 60 per cent of companies using SaaS have reported a fall in costs, while 50 per cent said it saves them time.

Despite the initially slow take-up, the BT exec believes SaaS has reached a tipping point.

Lindsay added: "Up until now software as a service has been about proving the model and one or two hero brands kind of managing to prove and pioneer the way. What we're seeing now is that it's moving out of the innovators and early adopters to what we call the early majority."

The tide appears to be turning for SaaS. A silicon.com CIO Jury last September found half of the IT user panel marked SaaS as either not on their radar at all or is very low priority, while earlier this month research by software-as-a-service CRM company, Salesforce.com, found that many UK CIOs feel business applications will increasingly be accessed via the internet with 56 per cent saying all applications used by their organisation will be hosted online within five years.

Others though remain unconvinced on the subject of SaaS, with Citrix CTO and chair, Martin Duursma, recently saying the technology remains "several years away" from being enterprise ready.