Barney Beal of Techtarget had a great post on Is benchmarking data the next big step for SaaS:
SaaS companies – and their users – are uniquely positioned to turn customers’ aggregate data into a real business advantage.
SaaS benchmarking (aka analytics-as-a-service) enables users to view and compare their performance against similar users of the same SaaS system. By benchmarking their performance users could identify improvement opportunities across their organization, and measure how they improve over time against the benchmark.
Benchmarking an organization’s performance is nothing new. There are companies that offer benchmarking service by collecting its membership data, aggregating and analyzing it and spitting the benchmarked data back to their members. The opportunity for SaaS vendors is to automate that process for its online users, using live data and with no effort from their side – a benefit gained by simply using the SaaS application.
In fact, customers of on-premises software find themselves paying outside software vendors to give them insight into how well they’re using the system. SaaS gives it away.
Liz Herbert from Forrester Research also agrees that benchmarking is a big opportunity:
Benchmarking data is in fact the next big step for SaaS vendors, Liz Herbert, an analyst with Forrester Research in Cambridge, Mass., agreed.
“That’s where SaaS has a huge advantage,” she said. “The challenge will be how can they answer the privacy and security issues. [Clients] are fearful. They like the idea of benchmarking but they don’t like the privacy and security issue that goes with it.”