Enterprise SaaS Solutions
Clouds and hosted services are proliferating at a rapid pace, and enterprise software SaaS is going mainstream. Platform providers like Apprenda are lowering the barriers to creating new applications and streamlining the prototyping, testing, and release of SaaS applications.
SaaS deployments are becoming larger, with ranges of thousands to tens of thousands of employees within large enterprises. There is considerable SaaS and cloud uptake today among enterprises, and not just small businesses. Growth in the mid-market has been substantial, but the demand for SaaS solutions has by no means been limited to that segment. Many large, global enterprises prefer to manage the mission-critical business processes of sales performance and incentive management in an on-demand environment.
Enterprise software SaaS may not be right for every organization, but for a great number of enterprises, SaaS solutions offer the best means of cutting costs and increasing the likelihood that projects will be successful. Ease of speed and deployment, limited capital expense, and lower TCO are the most critical factors driving SaaS growth in U.S. enterprises today. The primary benefits of enterprise SaaS include: the ability to upgrade with new features without impact to the core technology stack; opt-in features; low-cost provisioning and minimized overhead costs; and the ability to analyze which elements of the application are being used (or not used).
Unlike traditional enterprise software, enterprise SaaS provides infrastructure and development environments on demand while allowing companies to reap the benefits of increased productivity and lowed enterprise-software ownership costs. Traditional enterprise software is not always easy to use because user interfaces are often created before it is known exactly how the software will be used. Customization to the user interface is often done at installation by systems integrators who do not have any actual user behavior on which to base their customizations. SaaS applications, on the other hand, are easier to use because they offer streamlined interfaces that are designed to be easily configurable.
The enterprise software market is a mature market. IT budget constraints and software complexity make it difficult enough for companies to support and maintain their current enterprise software, let alone allow new vendors to enter the mix. As a result, IT organizations have created extensive policies to block new entrants, making it extraordinarily difficult for recent independent software vendors (ISVs) to break into the enterprise market. However, SaaS applications are beginning to unlock the stranglehold that enterprise application software brands have had on these companies. Contrary to traditional enterprise software, SaaS enterprise solutions are built using a modern, more open Web-based architecture with low-cost tools that enable vendors to rapidly and cost-effectively build, test, and introduce new features and product capabilities. They have been built to be easily configured by the user and delivered as a service that is hosted, supported, and maintained by the vendor. What’s more, their interface makes them more intuitive. Designed from the ground up to be “multi-tenant,” they can support many customers concurrently using the same version of software. Enterprise SaaS can make new releases instantly available, which means the costly, time-consuming, and often delayed upgrades that plague traditional enterprise software are a thing of the past.
SaaS solutions are gaining traction in enterprise because unlike traditional enterprise software, which requires the buy-in and support from multiple divisions within a company, enterprise SaaS departmental applications can be sold directly to the line of business owner. They require little, if any, training, integration, and involvement with IT for their initial implementation and long-term maintenance and support, and their pricing model makes them even more attractive.