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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

April - 2010 - issue > Technology

SaaS The Way Forward

ST Team
Friday, April 2, 2010
ST Team
Gartner saw it as the one bright spot during recession. Traditional software is slowly but steadily making way for it. And India is estimated to register a 60 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in it from 2008 to 2012 according to Springboard Research. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has taken the IT world by storm and experts say this is just the beginning.

As the IT industry has matured, IT organizational focus has steadily shifted from capabilities to outcomes. Leading organizations are primarily focussed on processes and information, not technology, applications or infrastructure. In this context, IT is simply a means to an end, not an end in itself. In other words, the 'service' being consumed is ultimately all that matters from a business standpoint and all underlying enabling technology is simply part of the plumbing. SaaS and cloud computing, though only a part of a larger canvas, are seen as the most obvious examples of this trend.

SaaS is a big hit in India, being the fastest growing SaaS market in Asia Pacific and is projected to be worth 352 million dollars by 2012. The growing appeal of SaaS in India is also evident from the fact that SaaS familiarity levels in India are much higher than in the Asia Pacific region as a whole, where only 60 percent of respondents reported being 'very familiar with SaaS', as compared to 74 percent in India according to Springboard Research.

So what is it that makes SaaS a thriving model? Michael Barnes, VP of Software & Asia Pacific Research, Springboard Research, feels that the severe resource constraints that most organizations are facing have facilitated its popularity. "Demand for process improvements, new business capabilities (application functionality) and information access remains as strong as ever. SaaS solutions are a perfect fit as they require minimal up-front investments (Cap-Ex), minimal user training, and in many cases minimal involvement of the actual IT department itself."

Low maintenance and ease of use are cited as the main reasons for extensive SaaS adoption apart from elasticity, high operational efficiency and scalability. SaaS users also enjoy rapid deployment with anytime, anywhere access and automatic upgrades and updates. SaaS has been adopted mostly by enterprises that are in high growth sectors like power, infrastructure, contact centers, banking, and technology. With its increasing popularity, SaaS is witnessing a number of innovations. Asheesh Raina, Principal Research Analyst, Gartner sees light weight, fast over the net and quick customization applications to watch out for. "The eco-system will become stronger as even smaller companies are moving into the subscription mode. In totality, everything is turning into a service," he adds.


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