Collaboration, web conferencing tops for SaaS

Software as a service (SaaS) will evolve into new areas over the next 10 years, beyond its early successes with salesforce and customer relationship management (CRM), according to Forrester Research.

A report published by the analyst firm today also forecast that the software delivery model would gain significant traction in areas such as web conferencing, collaboration and IT service management (ITSM).

Liz Herbert, Forrester Research's senior analyst, said: "SaaS adoption continues to increase, and it is now relevant for a wide array of applications."

The maturity of CRM products in the space provided evidence of SaaS hitting the mainstream. But the report cautioned that some companies with established on-premise CRM strategies would be slow to, or might never, switch to the model.

It also said SaaS deployment of small, niche human capital management (HCM) or human resource (HR) systems have become popular. But consolidation in this space has started to create broader suite offerings, increasing their potential growth.

Despite being unproven long-term, the report also identified collaboration as the one of the hotter areas of SaaS adoption. And, alongside ITSM, the entrance of established vendors held the potential to significantly impact both areas.

Forrester also identified web conferencing and online backup as likely beneficiaries of SaaS development. It said that, by their nature, both were ideal candidates for SaaS models and that many firms were already comfortable with using such services, particularly in the small-to-medium-sized enterprise (SME) space.

At the same time though, the report called out business intelligence (BI) and integration tools as areas likely to have minimal success using the SaaS model. In the case of BI, it said data volumes and transfer speeds could be a hindrance.

And although SaaS-specific integration offerings would emerge, it added that enterprises should not expect any magic integration solutions in future, SaaS or otherwise.

The report also evaluated the likes of enterprise resource planning and supply chain management, digital asset management and archiving, and enterprise content, as well as web content management technologies.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.