7global Unveils the Results of its 2006 Software-as-a-Service Adoption Trends Survey

234 senior IT and business professionals contribute their insights to this unique snapshot of current and future adoption trends for SaaS

London, UK, April, 10th , 2006 – 7global, the Managed Services Company, has today announced the early findings of its 2006 Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Adoption Trends Survey which was targeted at UK Business and IT professionals representing companies in banking, insurance & financial services, engineering/manufacturing, retail, government, legal and distribution. The survey, which was conducted through Survey.com in March 2006, gives insight into how companies perceive SaaS, current and future adoption trends, its benefits and inhibitors, events that trigger its adoption and which applications are most deployed on a SaaS model.

234 senior professionals based in the UK participated in this online survey. Of these, almost half were IT managers, one fifth were Head of Department/Line of Business managers, and one fifth held the position of CTO/IT Director/CIO. The main vertical markets in which respondents’ companies operate are banking/insurance/financial services (23.2%), engineering/manufacturing (21%), government/public sector (19.3%), retail (12.4%), legal (11.6%), and distribution (10.3%). Almost half of respondents work in organisations having 1,000 or more employees.

The study concentrates on four key areas; current awareness and adoption of SaaS; applications most commonly being used or considered for delivery on SaaS and the business drivers; benefits and inhibitors to adopting SaaS and the impact of SaaS on the business.

Survey highlights include:

Awareness/Perceptions & Adoption Trends
• Two thirds of responding companies are either already adopting, planning to adopt or evaluating SaaS
o Analysis by industry sector reveals banking/insurance/financial services organisations to have the highest usage and adoption rate.
o Comparison by organisation size shows larger organisations (500+ employees) are more likely to be using/adopting SaaS already
• The application which is seen as most widely available on a SaaS delivery model is web conferencing, with 55.8% perceiving it as having ‘high’ or ‘moderately high’ availability. This is followed by CRM (51%), email/message management (51%), payroll/time & attendance (50.4%), HR (46.4%) and accounting (44.2%). Generally, CIOs/IT Directors/CTOs perceive the applications to be more widely available than do other respondents.

Applications & Business Drivers
• The main events which would trigger companies to purchase SaaS are a drive to reduce IT costs (52.4%), a major software upgrade (39.5%), to increase employee productivity/efficiency (35.2%), and a new service launched by suppliers (27.5%). Organisations having 500 or more employees are more likely to mention a drive to reduce IT costs.
• The main applications being used or considered for SaaS are email/message management (20.8%), accounting (20.1%), payroll/time & attendance (19.5%), CRM (18.8%), desktop applications (18.8%), and HR (18.8%).
• Almost half of those using or considering SaaS applications state that this is to replace existing applications (48.7%) or to boost the functionality of existing applications (47%). One quarter (27%) report that this is for brand new applications.

Benefits and Inhibitors
• The software categories seen as most likely to benefit from SaaS are payroll/time & attendance (36.8%), HR (31.8%), web conferencing (31.4%), email/message management (30.5%), accounting (30.5%), desktop applications (29.6%), and CRM (29.1%)
• When asked what effect SaaS would have on their spending habits, two fifths (39.6%) are more likely to consider products from other vendors than in the past, while 30.6% are more likely to purchase subscription licences.
• Concerns over security of data outside the business (55.8%) is seen as the main hindrance to adopting SaaS followed by internal concern over loss of ownership (46.8%), reliability of the service (42.9%), migration from current in-house applications (41.1%), and integration concerns (40.7%)

“This survey has yielded a higher than expected response with 234 senior professionals taking the time to give us a unique snapshot of their views and insights into SaaS,” commented Richard Sheppard, CEO of 7global. “The results confirm our belief that there is an important shift taking place in the way organisations want to buy software and that SaaS is firmly on the agenda of most CTO’s and IT Directors. The findings also complement our recently launched Transform programme which we designed to guide Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) through the steps required to successfully deliver their solutions on a SaaS model. ”

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