SaaS Realities: Business Benefits for Small & Mid-sized Enterprises
INTRODUCTION: CONSIDERING SAAS
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a highly-touted model for acquiring, using and
paying for business functionality. Its best-known characteristics are its relative
speed to implementation and low upfront costs for acquisition and deployment. As
a result, SaaS is widely adopted for a variety of business and IT functions.
Less well-known are the business advantages of SaaS for ERP/enterprise business
applications, especially those advantages specific to smaller enterprises. Enterprise-
level SaaS can deliver tremendous value to small and mid-sized businesses.
In this paper, we consider the business advantages of moving to a Software as a
Service (SaaS) model for improving business operations, and to better meet the
challenges of growth, competition and regulatory compliance faced by smaller and
We examine the motivation for making what can be a significant change in infor-
mation technology, and look at the alternatives to SaaS, and the unique ways in
which SaaS delivers business value.
Finally, we look at the advantages and business benefits financial value, new
technology and improved operations that SaaS provides to small and mid-sized
businesses, including Saugatuck s latest survey and interview research with small
and mid-sized business users.
FLEXIBLE, NIMBLE AND PRESSURED
By nature, small and mid-sized companies must be flexible and nimble. Their lead-
ers are constantly faced with the decision to invest in the business to enable im-
provements in operational and financial performance. Yet at the same time, they
can find themselves so entangled in those operational and financial processes that
finding a better way to do it can take a back seat to dealing with the latest prob-
Figure 1 Coping with Business Pressures
Source: Saugatuck Technology Inc.
2009 Saugatuck Technology Inc.