The software-as-a-service market has yielded significant advantages for businesses, whether through an easily accessible online database or robust SaaS applications. The 2012 Cloud Computing survey from North Bridge revealed continued momentum for SaaS, which is growing six times faster than the rest of the software industry. However, respondents said that cloud proliferation has also changed the way companies use applications, with big data and customer relationship management software seeing the biggest disruption.
Although the majority (82 percent) of those polled use SaaS already, researchers found a growing interest in custom applications. This led to the prediction that more companies will adopt platform-as-a-service, particularly as hybrid clouds become more commonplace in coming years.
“It appears that there is growing familiarity and trust of public cloud accompanied by a desire to move beyond one’s own internal infrastructure, cloud or not,” said 451 Research, one of the companies surveyed. “This is an understandable trend as the public cloud has existed for some time, presented enough options and has had time to progress from test or POC deployments to production implementations, which is reinforced by other responses. The move away from internally hosted to public and hybrid cloud reflects the need and desire to integrate with other technologies, vendors and ecosystems.”
As North Bridge’s research suggested, the cloud has done more than simply change the businesses that adopt software. TechTarget columnist Stephanie Mann discussed the effect that SaaS has had on internal software practices. Highlighting comments from Richard Watson, research director for Gartner, she focused on how applications are sourced. Rather than have one single strategy, businesses now combine a mixture of custom application development, open source, off-the-shelf and SaaS programs.