One of these vendors recently put out a SaaS “white paper.” This document clearly demonstrates the messaging conflict. Here is what can be gleaned from the paper:
SaaS is Only for Smaller Organizations
Companies that are interested in SaaS solutions typically have less than 3,500 employees. Why specifically this size? The document also claims that only companies that tend to have less demanding requirements for “higher-end” IT service management (ITSM) systems should consider SaaS. Well, isn’t this confusing! Does this mean that all companies with less than 3,500 staff members have no need for higher-end IT service management systems? Are IT service levels somehow less important to these companies?
Small Businesses Lack The Needed Staff
The document also claims that these companies typically do not have skilled staff to implement higher-end IT service management systems. I have worked with many companies of this size, and smaller, and can assure you that this is simply not true.
Companies are not moving to SaaS because they don’t have the skills. They are moving because the TCO is significantly lower and the service levels are either on a par or better than the on-premise solution. Yes, it is correct to say that, with SaaS, these skills are not required, because the SaaS vendor does all the software maintenance. But this is a positive – regardless of the size of the company.
SaaS Users Have “Simple” Needs
From an application standpoint, the document says that companies that consider SaaS typically have applications that are reasonably simple and static, and that they do not anticipate any increased business process complexity. Furthermore, it says that these companies do not require integration with infrastructure discovery, event management, or business applications such as ERP or CRM systems. In other words, only the smallest, simplest companies should consider SaaS. These SaaS myths have long been debunked, but still the negative spin is being pushed out.
The Lower TCO Offered by SaaS is “Bad”
The document also talks extensively about how companies that consider SaaS have business managers who mostly view IT as a cost of doing business, and necessary to maintaining daily operations as opposed to helping the business grow and enter new markets. What can we deduce from this? Perhaps an acceptance that SaaS has a significantly lower TCO and that this is somehow bad?
SaaS Performance Will Be Hindered by Poor Internet Reliability
Finally, the document states that only companies that do not have significant concerns about the reliability or speed of Internet access should consider SaaS. In other words, they are saying that all SaaS has performance problems that are caused by Internet reliability and speed. This is yet another tired, worn-out myth.
The rapid acceptance of SaaS has them scrambling, but surely they can do better than this? Building and delivering multi-tenant SaaS solutions and eroding their own base may be a better financial proposition in the long run. At least it would take the pressure off the messaging folks.