The total spending on SaaS globally is expected to exceed $45B by 2017 and according to a recent IBM global survey almost half of the organisations using Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) are not just reducing costs, but achieving a competitive advantage also.
These leading organisations who are gaining a competitive advantage via SaaS adoption are collaborating more effectively via accelerating their time to market, using social business tools, improving customer experience (CX), and being able to be more reactive to market changes, according to a recent survey conducted with 879 executives worldwide by IBM. The survey identified that whilst many organisations are using SaaS to drive down costs, nearly half (47%) are gaining a competitive advantage, but how? A popular belief is that despite SaaS requiring very little involvement from the I.T. department, departments within organisations are partnering to embrace SaaS. These organisations are achieving deeper collaboration, better decision making and more agility.
As Saas is so easily deployed it is often used by line-of-business leaders who are looking to deploy technology to rapidly provide their teams with needed functionality, address new market opportunities and increase productivity. A good example of this activity is within the sales and marketing departments, many heads of sales and marketing are using their own budgets to deploy SaaS based tools to boost their operations. In fact, by 2017 it is believed that the average CMO will spend more on I.T. than their CIO colleague, while Forrester reports that 65 percent of business leaders have plans to buy technology for their group without involving I.T. at all.
That said, circumventing I.T. to deploy SaaS systems without provisioning and securing it first can have unintended consequences. IBM’s study recommends that organisation leaders work very closely with I.T. to select, secure and deploy SaaS applications.
Further evidence to support cohesive enterprise-wide SaaS came from Gartner, who’s recent report said that by 2018 at least 30% of service-centric companies will move the majority of their ERP applications to the cloud, and by 2017, 70 percent of organisations adopting hybrid ERP will fail to improve cost-benefit outcomes unless their cloud applications provide differentiating functionality.” This report from Gartner supports the importance of having a organisation wide tied up approach when selecting and deploying SaaS platforms.
IBM’s study confirms that SaaS is delivering on a wide array of benefits, on top of lowering total cost of ownership, and shows that organisations that strategically and collaboratively deploy SaaS are able to execute on programs that drive business growth better than their peers who lag with SaaS deployments.