As I have mentioned in a previous post, most software vendors either take a SaaS or an on premises approach to software deployment. Very rarely do they offer both and I have never understood the sense in this. Here is another commentator exploring this further by looking at iPlanWare, SurarCRM and Wavemaker in particular. The often given reason is that trying to coexist the two approaches causes issues with software releases, marketing etc.
We have been offering iPlanWare PPM (project and portfolio management software) as a SaaS and on premises solution since 2001 and have regularly shipped 3-4 big releases each year since. Get your processes right and you can offer both – and secure a huge competitive advantage as well.
My advice to a start up thinking about going pure SaaS is don’t – you will be cutting out a huge segment of the market. At least 30% of the organisations we engage with would not consider a SaaS solution. More to the point, the ones who would not consider a SaaS solution are typically larger organisations with bigger budgets. At least another 20% will consider SaaS, but the sale will be a lot tougher due to legal issues, contracts and the customer not being familiar with the procurement / buying process for SaaS.
I agree, some software products only make sense as a SaaS solution. But for most business applications that is not the case. So there you have it – pure SaaS can mean 50% lost sales. Yes things will change, SaaS and cloud will become the norm – but we are a little way from that yet.