Here are several excerpts from an an article by Steve Evans about recent research regarding the use of Software as a Service (SaaS) in small and mid-sized enterprises, SMEs turning towards SaaS:
New research by Really Simple Systems, a UK-based hosted CRM vendor, has revealed that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly embracing hosted applications.
The survey consulted 678 respondents, the majority from organizations with less than 50 employees. Over half (58%) reported increased confidence in hosted applications over the course of 2008, while 83% agreed that hosted applications require less internal IT support and maintenance than in-house systems.
Users also said that they have as much confidence in other issues such as reliability, speed, data safety, and functionality of SaaS applications as they do in in-house platforms.
Hosted CRM applications proved to be the most popular with respondents – 60% claimed to be pleased with the concept of hosted CRM, and 36% were actively using a hosted CRM application. Only 8% of respondents said they were using a hosted ERP platform, while 35% said they had confidence in the concept.
John Paterson, CEO of Really Simple Systems noted that the current economic climate was likely to push more businesses towards hosted applications.
“The affordability and pricing structure of SaaS is extremely competitive and the current economy has been a significant force in changing perceptions. The added advantage of SaaS is that business-critical information is readily available at all times, from any computer with Internet connectivity, allowing more flexible working,” he said.
He also predicted that SaaS CRM applications would overtake in-house offerings in the next twelve months, with 36% of respondents now using hosted applications as opposed to 47% using in-house CRM.