Global SaaS deployments are rising sharply, research suggests

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The use of software as a service (SaaS) products within enterprise is growing rapidly, however there is a variation in uptake between markets, research by analyst firm Gartner suggests.

The survey of more than 500 businesses across 10 countries showed SaaS adoption had accelerated most strongly between 2009 and today, with 71 per cent of respondents saying they had been using the technology for less than three years.

Gartner's results also show that SaaS adoption remains strong and is expanding, particularly in emerging economies. Brazil, for example, had the largest number of new users, with 27 per cent of those surveyed saying they had been using SaaS for less than a year.

"Seeing such high intent to increase spending isn't a huge surprise as the adoption of the on-demand deployment model has grown for more than a decade, but its popularity has increased significantly within the past five years," said Gartner research vice president Charles Eschinger.

"It is [also] not surprising that SaaS is being deployed as net new deployments in Asia/Pacific since many of the users are relatively new businesses with few legacy systems. Markets, such as the US and EMEA are mature with existing enterprise systems and are beginning to use SaaS as a replacement for legacy applications."

Whereas previous studies had shown SaaS projects were being undertaken as extensions to existing applications, this research shows instead a worldwide shift towards new deployments or the replacement of existing on-premise applications.

Customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise content management (ECM) were shown to be the most common applications being newly deployed, while supply chain management (SCM), web conferencing, collaboration and social platforms were the most likely to be introduced as replacements for on-premise applications.

More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of all respondents indicated they expected to increase spending on SaaS products over the next two years, with the number rising to 80 per cent in Brazil and Asia Pacific. Less than one fifth (17 per cent) of companies globally said they intended to keep spending steady over the same period.

Jane McCallion
Deputy Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's deputy editor, specializing in cloud computing, cyber security, data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Deputy Editor, she held the role of Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialise in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.