The gap is beginning to close between the value SaaS-based applications have the potential to deliver and what customers are achieving.
While SaaS-based software vendors are making major strides in integration, reliability, system performance and usability, it is the enterprise buyer’s skepticism and high standards forcing the market to move forward. The latest series of market forecasts and surveys reflect greater use of actual customer results and a quickening pace of progress.
Performance-Driven Cultures and SaaS Adoption
Measuring business outcomes using industry standard and company-specific metrics typifies companies getting the best results. A lack of clarity or confusion around strategy based goals leads to low adoption and eventual abandonment of SaaS initiates. Sales and sales operations VPs are winning the debates against home-grown or internal system development based on speed of deployment, usability and integrated analytics of SaaS applications. Based on the surveys and research completed this year, the best SaaS implementations are designed on a firm foundation of measurable results including quantifying risk.
Performance-driven cultures have a higher success rate with SaaS pilots, are more thorough in defining their own infrastructure (IaaS) and platforms (PaaS), and also know what success looks like from a metrics-driven standpoint. The graphic, Performance-Driven Culture: The Metrics Continuum, shown to the left, was originally published in Gartner’s Predicts 2011: Enterprise Architecture Shifting Focus to Business Value Outcomes Report, November, 11, 2010 Philip Allega, et.al supports this point. Please click on the graphic to expand it for easier reading.
Hype is Prolonging the Peak of Inflated Expectations
The bottom line is all really matters is measurable, repeatable performance when enterprises evaluate their SaaS strategies. Many marketing, sales, sales operations and service VPs must defend their choice of SaaS over legacy system upgrades or internal system development. Resistance to change and complacency in IT is slowly killing many companies who must step up and keep pace with their customers to survive. People are betting their jobs on this technology. Many in marketing, sales and service want to know how to improve and measure business strategy performance. That’s one of the main inflexion points in SaaS marketing today.
The reality for enterprise users is that nothing gets purchased, no matter how wonderful the claims, unless there are strong metrics that link them back to business performance. That’s what is deflating hype in this market faster than any other factor. You can download the Gartner Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing 2010 from the link (no opt-in). Please click on the graphic to download the Gartner Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing 2010.
Here are short summaries of the latest cloud computing and SaaS forecasts published recently:
- Cloud middleware systems markets at $1.5B in 2010 are forecast to reach $4.3B, worldwide by 2017. Cloud computing middleware represents the base for development of all cloud computing infrastructure as it supports systems integration and systems self-provisioning. Market leaders are predicted to be Akamai, IBM, Google, Microsoft, and Oracle. Source: http://wintergreenresearch.com/
- Infonetics Research forecasts the overall managed security services market, including CPE, SaaS, and cloud services, to reach just under $17B by 2015. SaaS and cloud-based security services are expected to make up close to half of the overall managed security services market opportunity by 2015 Worldwide SaaS revenue is forecast to grow dramatically over the next few years, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23% from 2010 to 2015. Source: WSJ Journal
- Cloud service adoption is up 61% from 2010 and 45% of multinational corporations (MNCs) already use cloud sourcing for at least some elements of key IT services. Cable & Wireless and Ovum partnered to create this white paper, full of excellent insights and research data: http://www.cw.com/assets/content/pdfs/resource/ovum-cloud-wp.pdf
- 60 percent of companies worldwide said cloud computing is a top IT priority for the next year, the sentiment is even higher in the C-suite with three in four (75 percent) C-level executives reporting cloud computing as top of mind. According to an Avanade Research and Insights’ Global Survey: Has Cloud Computing Matured? Third Annual Report, June 2011, there is also significant purchasing of cloud services without the IT department’s knowledge, with nearly 20% of all purchases never reviewed with the CIO. Source: Avanade Research Report
- By 2014, cloud computing services will grow to a $45B industry a year (IDC) and SaaS to grow at 21% CAGR to touch $17.6B. Microsoft recently published the following presentation, Grow Your Business with Cloud – Are You Ready? You can download a copy of the presentation by clicking on the presentation to the right.
- The global cloud computing market is expected to grow from $37.8B in 2010 to $121.1 B in 2015 at a CAGR of 26.2% from 2010 to 2015 according to Yankee Group. SaaS is the largest segment of the cloud computing services market, accounting as it did for 73% of the market’s revenues in 2010. The IaaS and PaaS markets are still at a nascent stage and currently hold a small share of the Cloud computing services market. However, these are expected to witness moderate growth due to their flexibility and cost effectiveness.Source: CSS Corp. Analysis.
- Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) software emerged in 2009 as a fast-growing market for SaaS, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 40% projected for the next five years according to Gartner. PPM software consumption environments are changing radically, with hosted and SaaS options — as a result, most traditional on-premises vendors are forced to provide SaaS alternatives to counter new entrants and SaaS-only PPM vendors. Source: Competitive Landscape: SaaS Project and Portfolio Management Software, Worldwide, 2011 published 6 April 2011.