Forrester Research Principal Analyst Brian Walker recently shared the results of the cleverbridge-commissioned study, “Software Vendors: The Shift to SaaS,” in a webinar presentation. This 60-minute discussion offers practical, strategic advice to help software vendors adopt SaaS solutions.
Adoption of SaaS is increasing among businesses, which gives software vendors a unique opportunity to increase their market share by offering SaaS solutions along with their traditional on-premise software. According to the study, 31 percent of companies are already moderate to heavy users of SaaS software and 68 percent of larger companies have already begun adopting SaaS software solutions. But SaaS is not just for large enterprises. SaaS is also ideal for expanding a vendor’s small-to-medium business market (SMB).
The first step in developing a SaaS strategy is to understand that buyers have the following goals when looking to purchase SaaS products:
- Cost reduction
- Improved data security
- Speedier execution of business processes
- More efficient channels for collaboration and information exchanges
In addition to accomplishing these goals, SaaS offers other benefits such as:
- Quick deployment (One company that was surveyed was able to reduce their implementation time from nine months to eight weeks!)
- Reduced risk of orphaned software (Because SaaS platforms are continuously maintained, new features can be enabled quickly without requiring major upgrades by internal IT departments.)
This is not to say that SaaS is without its challenges. Common concerns with SaaS are related to security, performance and integration with other applications. It is important for vendors to address these issues if they want to gain the trust of potential buyers.
Walker also noted that buyers want a smooth, easy-to-complete ordering process. More than 20 percent of buyers for large companies prefer to purchase directly from a vendor’s website. They want to complete the order process quickly without having to jump hurdles like submitting a quote request or being forced to complete an order with a sales representative.
It’s important for vendors to understand that adopting a SaaS solution means more than researching and developing a functioning product. Vendors need to create new strategies that take advantage of the benefits of SaaS without competing against their traditional on-premise licensing models. Just as the vendor/buyer relationship must be mutually beneficial, the same can be said of implementing SaaS-based solutions alongside on-premise ones.
SaaS is a growing force in the market. It presents benefits and challenges to vendors and buyers alike. Understanding these benefits and challenges is necessary in order to successfully integrate Saas into your product portfolio.
Check out the complete on-demand webinar “The Road to “SaaS-ification” for Software Vendors” for an in-depth look at the process of adopting SaaS.