Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

September 3, 2008

George Gilbert

SaaS Suites Struggle in the Enterprise

A look at the evidence finds that the jury is still out on whether SaaS will crack core, mission critical processes in the enterprise.

By George Gilbert, Tech Strategy Partners

It’s no secret Software as a Service (SaaS) has generated tremendous excitement among many customers for its apparently transformational adoption model and ownership experience.  Unlike client-server applications, SaaS delivers faster time to value often via a viral buying cycle as well as lower risk deployment.

The early adopter focus has been on small and midsize businesses (SMBs) because SaaS makes it economical to reach them with broad penetration for the first time.  Where SaaS has carved out successes in large enterprises, it has largely been in more independent, non-mission critical departmental functions that have no CapEx budgets such as HR, CRM, or marketing, not end to end suites. 

Despite the undoubted progress that SaaS is making, we believe the adoption of core, mission critical processes (Financials, order management, industry-specific processes such as manufacturing or securities processing) in large enterprises is still many years out for a variety of technical and business challenges.


Register Now for the Cloud Summit:
Oct. 14, 2008 at the Computer History Museum

Software executives and investors are invited to a must-attend forum on the opportunities surrounding cloud computing. The Cloud Summit, a TechWeb event hosted by Sand Hill Group's M.R. Rangaswami, will take place on Oct. 14, 2008 at the Computer History Museum in the Silicon Valley.

New business, new technology ecosystems and new strategies will be explored alongside emerging market leaders during this one-day event. Focused tracks and sessions include: Defining the Cloud, Doing Business in The Cloud, Best Practices in Marketing and Selling and Exploring the Cloud in Action.

Be a part of this inaugural event. Attendance will be capped at 350 executives so register now!

Build Your Company Around a Solution

Jon Fisher Too often, entrepreneurs pursue innovation for innovation’s sake. Read why Jon B. Fisher believes this is the wrong strategy in the Blog on Strategic Entrepreneurism.

SaaS is Mainstream But Won't Be Ubiquitous

Supporting George Gilbert’s point of view (above), Bob Tarzey shares the results of a recent study on how SaaS will fit into the next-generation of software options. Read the executive summary in this post to Blog on SaaS.

Publish Your Perspective! wants your opinions. Send your thoughts on the enterprise software industry to editor, Maryann Jones Thompson ( and have your opinions published on our site.

Rapidly Transform Your Salesforce

Taking a phased “university approach” to change helped one company transform its sales force—successfully—in 6 months rather than the usual 12 to 24. Read more about this approach in this article from The McKinsey Quarterly.

News Update: Facts and Figures

Cisco takes on Microsoft; plus SaaS firms' value falls, a new CFO for Oracle, IBM improves collaboration, Spintronics emerges, and more software news of the week. Read these stories and more software news of the week in the latest Software News Summary.

Poll: Enterprise SaaS?

When will SaaS make real inroads in the enterprise?
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last week, readers gave us their opinion on what the hardest part of starting a software company on a shoestring.
Give us your opinion and see the results >>

More at

Google challenges Microsoft with new browser.
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

Active Network received $80 million.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

Oracle to acquire ClearApp.
Size up last week’s software M&A deals >>

Jeff Epstein names EVP and CFO of Oracle.
See who’s made it to the top in our list of recent software executive appointments.

Send us your feedback on this newsletter and the site.

Parting Thought

Technology has the shelf life of a banana.”
— Scott McNealy

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group



Cognizant is a global provider of IT, consulting and business process outsourcing services. Cognizant delivers a better Return on Outsourcing via our single-minded passion to making our customers’ businesses stronger.
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