Global CIO: Even For Google, No Free Pass For SaaS - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Cloud // Software as a Service
Commentary
3/21/2011
11:47 AM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
Commentary
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Global CIO: Even For Google, No Free Pass For SaaS

Google has made a notable concession to business users of Google Apps. It's a sign of things to come for software as a service, as enterprise customers get more demanding.

The second reason the Google Apps slow lane is important is because it sends a signal to business customers that Google can be flexible with them. Software as a service has had its honeymoon, and it's now going to face a lot tougher scrutiny.

That's my conclusion after reading the recent InformationWeek digital issue cover story, which looks at the state of SaaS and includes an exclusive survey.

Two numbers jump out from that State of SaaS article. First, we asked survey respondents about seven possible reasons their organizations might not use SaaS. Every one of those reasons is cited by fewer respondents this year than last year, except one: concerns about features/functionality. That percentage rose only a little--4 percentage points, to 20% -- but it's notable that business technology pros say their organizations are less satisfied with SaaS features today than they were a year ago.

The other key data point is that the percentage of respondents who say their organizations are satisfied with SaaS fell to 74% -- still impressive, but that's a big step down from 85% a year ago.

Companies were once just glad to get decent features from SaaS, quickly, without having to beg their IT teams to implement the service. (Well, until it was time to integrate those apps with anything.) Now, the fact that software is available as SaaS is no big whoop -- people take it for granted. The pressure increasingly is on SaaS vendors to ramp up features, make integration easier, allow for more customization, and offer better assurances on performance (SLAs) and security. Businesses won't just accept being a tag-along to a consumer-driven product.

As Michael Biddick writes in that SaaS cover story:

"It won’t be easy. SaaS providers’ profit margins are razor thin, and as the customer base expands and enterprises start demanding customization, providers will have their work cut out for them. For vendors offering both licensed and subscription as-a-service products, it’s a balancing act to offer world-class enterprise software while catering to a clientele that’s fixated on speed of delivery."

As SaaS customers get more demanding, Google must decide how badly it wants to win big business customers. Google's main rival for SaaS e-mail and collaboration leaves no such room for doubt: Microsoft is in land-grab mode, racing to get business customers on its cloud-based Exchange service.

Google showed some commitment to business customers with its recent Apps move. Count on would-be enterprise customers to keep testing that commitment with ever-tougher demands.


Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll