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SaaS: flexible, efficient & affordable

For the future

The rate of adoption for SaaS is moving steadily ahead, but the delivery mode has not been universally accepted. A recent survey by the Aberdeen Group of more than 100 companies indicated that slightly more than a third were planning to implement a SaaS application within two years, but 42 percent had no plans to do so within that time frame.

The most frequently cited reasons for not implementing SaaS were that it was not a high enough priority and that it was not needed. A minority (about one-fifth) had concerns about security, but very few worried about functionality or expense. In a tight economic climate, the lack of capital requirements and the bundled IT support that goes along with SaaS may push additional organizations in that direction.

For those who might be considering SaaS but have some reservations, options are available.

"A number of additional deployment models have emerged to address concerns that organizations may have about SaaS," says Colleen Smith, managing director of SaaS at Progress Software, which offers IT infrastructure products and services. "For those who want to keep their data behind the firewall, the application can be located on an on-premises server, but managed remotely by the SaaS provider."

As organizations face the decision point about whether to purchase on-premises products or shift to a SaaS model, they may take a new look at this option. The strongest impetus behind SaaS adoption, Smith believes, is a combination of usability and accessibility.

"If we look at what happened with Salesforce.com," she says, "we can see that when a product is easy to use and easy to access, it can really take off."

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