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16 Percent of BPM Seekers Agree with the SaaS Delivery Model

Written By: Yu Chen
Published On: March 2 2010

Recently, Rob Barry summarized some important points on the topic of delivering business process management (BPM) through the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model (see Choosing Business Process Management: SaaS BPM or On-premise BPM? According to this article, although managing business process in the cloud is in an early stage, this delivery model is becoming more noticeable. After reading this, I felt that it would be interesting to know business users’ attitudes toward the SaaS model while selecting BPM solutions. Luckily, I was able to look into BPM selection projects recorded in our BPM Evaluation Center and found that over 16 percent of BPM seekers, in 2009, were willing to acquire BPM capabilities through subscription or leasing agreements.



In 2008, TEC BPM Evaluation Center added a new option to the question that allows users to specify their needs regarding expected services: software provided as a service through a subscription or leasing agreement (SaaS). Among the thousands of valid answers to the services section, in 2009, 16 percent of them checked this new added option.

While looking into the profile of the hundreds of users that selected the SaaS option, (the “SaaS group” hereafter), I found some noticeable differences between this group of users and the rest of BPM seekers (the “non-SaaS group” hereafter) in the following areas:

Business Size and Structure

Although not quite significantly, the statistics suggests that bigger organizations are slightly more inclined to the SaaS model than smaller ones. This might be relevant to another aspect that I’ve found—distributed organizations are more in favor of the SaaS model. The “SaaS group” contains more multinational organizations and fewer single site organizations than the “non-SaaS group” (Figure 1).

f1.JPG

Figure 1. Organization structure composition: “SaaS group” vs. “non-SaaS group”

Industry

In his article, Barry mentioned that due to security concerns, the acceptance level of the SaaS model varies in different industries. The above mentioned data shows that banking, financial, and telecommunication are the top 3 industries in both the “SaaS group” and the “non-SaaS group”. However, electronics/high-tech, health care, energy, and insurance are the industries that have a higher ranking in the “SaaS group”.

Implementation: Number of Users and Timeframe

After seeing the statistics on business size and structure, it’s not a surprise that in the “SaaS group”, organizations are planning to have more users for their future BPM systems than those in the “non-SaaS group”. Also, the “SaaS group” requires a shorter implementation time frame, which is a benefit that the SaaS model is supposed to deliver.

Frankly, 16 percent is greater than what I expected before running the analysis. It seems that the SaaS model has reached a considerable level of acceptance in the BPM area. Will the percentage keep growing? I think the answer relies on how well SaaS BPM solutions are able to meet users’ business requirements down the road.
 
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