Saas business models growth a lot during the past few years and i personally appreciate it.
No software to be installed, configured, maintained, service available when you needed with a early adoption time and most important reduction (or apparent reduction) of the total costs of ownership.
I had few experience with SaaS business (as a customer) and i have to say that the following Gartner Group analysis on SaaS businesses imho tell you the truth only for half of statements:
- There is always a partial integration issue (not all systems are so flexible to really integrate into your business like you would like)
- There is often a lacks of the technical requirements needed by the specific business case
- I DO NOT agree that there is a barrier in the costs, as SaaS usually let you start spending only a few. However it’s true that while doing the deployment you should be more conservative in the usage of features and items (es: I am using for my company a hosted VoIP PBX system, we pay for each extension we add. We don’t have test extension or extensions that are not strictly needed because it costs. When we had an internal VoIP PBX system, we was plenty of test extension. This slightly increase some complexity in maintenance and deployment, even if the total cost of maintenance is a lot lower than an internal system to be managed.
So we can assume that Saas it’s for most but not for all, especially if the need of customizations for the very specific business needs are relevant.
An in depth analysis and testing has to be carried on, in order to discover all the limits of the solution, on functionalities and pricing, to really discover if the specific solution fit the business need.