Back in July I wrote a post about a Gartner survey that found modest satisfaction levels among users of software-as-a-service and a fair amount of reluctance among those that had evaluated SaaS but opted to take a pass.
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THINKStrategies Managing Director Jeff Kaplan got a much stronger vote of confidence for SaaS from a survey he administered on his website. That could have been due to differences in the sample or the fact that Kaplan's respondents took the survey on his website, which features a mostly positive outlook on SaaS and thus likely attracts SaaS fans. Kaplan had 53 respondents, mostly from companies with fewer than 1,000 employees, while I suspect Gartner may have worked with a larger and more diverse set of companies.
Of Kaplan's respondents, 83 percent use one or more SaaS solutions. Eight of the nine respondents not using SaaS are considering it, with most of them anticipating a deployment within six months. The biggest driver was a desire to cut additional infrastructure and staff costs. That's not surprising, considering the rocky economy of the past year-and-a-half. I quoted several experts to that effect in a post from February, citing their positive projections for SaaS growth.
Nearly 85 percent of the current SaaS users said they are very satisfied with their SaaS solutions, citing lower infrastructure costs and staff support requirements as their biggest benefits. Eighty percent of them said they would renew their services, and 81 percent said they would expand their use of SaaS. Nearly 70 percent said they would recommend SaaS to others.
While Kaplan himself has been among industry analysts predicting more vertical SaaS solutions, fewer than 10 percent of respondents were interested in industry-specific SaaS only. Thirty percent are interested in both horizontal and industry-specific SaaS apps, while 60 percent have adopted or are considering horizontal SaaS apps.
While SaaS is often perceived as an SMB solution, Kaplan points out that neither of the two dissatisfied SaaS users came from large enterprises.