Developers expect SaaS boom

More than half of developers worldwide expect to work on internet-hosted apps during 2009, according to a new survey
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

More than half of software developers worldwide expect to work on internet-hosted applications during 2009, confirming the success of software-as-a-service, according to a survey from Evans Data.

The survey, published on Monday, found that an average of nearly 52 percent of respondents planned to work on SaaS projects in 2009, with adoption expectations highest in the Asia-Pacific region.

North American developers had the highest current adoption of SaaS, at 30 percent. European developers were currently engaged in fewer SaaS projects than in the US or Asia, but 53 percent of European developers said they expected to work on internet-hosted software sometime this year.

Businesses such as Salesforce.com have popularised SaaS in recent years, despite the occasional disruption of service, and recent research has suggested internet-hosted software is being boosted by current financial uncertainty.

Evans said businesses have been seduced by SaaS's promise of rapid deployment, limited upfront investment in capital and staffing and reduction of software-management responsibility.

"These SaaS results definitely reaffirm the success of this concept in replacing the traditional model of business applications being run in house with traditional software licences," said Evans chief executive and president John Andrews, in a statement.

Cloud computing, which combines elements of SaaS, virtualisation and utility/grid computing, has proven less popular than pure SaaS so far, with fewer than 10 percent of developers using cloud services. More than one-quarter said they had plans to use cloud services at some point, the survey found.

The survey also found that more than two-thirds of Asia-Pacific developers — 68 percent — spent some portion of their time writing rich internet applications, though only two percent did this exclusively.

Evans's Global Development Survey was conducted in the autumn of 2008, and is based on more than 1,300 interviews, the market-research company said.

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