According to Goldman Sachs, SaaS accounting has reached 3rd spot of those buying this style of application. Given the momentum I’ve seen in the market, I was not surprised to see accounting and billing applications jumping up to third spot after web conferencing and salesforce automation. It doesn’t take much thought to realize accounting and billing apps represent the next logical step for Salesforce.com customers. That’s one reason why I am happy to be moderating an upcoming webinar involving the Daily Telegraph as a Financialforce.com customer. Details to come later.
Contrast that with the threads coming from AccountingWeb’s cloud community and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the accounting types they speak with see little of merit in moving to SaaS. Those who are confused or unsettled by SaaS should be viewing these trends as opportunities that will drive innovation among the existing service providers to help take the profession forward. I’ve previously talked about analytics in the guise of services like MyCake and Indicee as representing directions that professionals should be considering. Back channel conversations with colleagues has them nodding vigorously in agreement.
Terminology remains a bit confusing, as marketers take hold of the cloud, and vendors mix and match the terminology at will. Most analysts and marketers have dropped the SaaS term altogether, instead using the cloud as a descriptor for pretty much anything that doesn’t live within a corporate firewall.
Ever it was so in the fashion led world of software. However, it serves as a good reminder that service providers need to get a lot more savvy about how they describe benefits. That might explain why some critics are not understanding what SaaS can bring to their business. That still leaves open the question of how they respond. Again, according to Goldman Sachs as reported by Cnet:
An “SaaS first” policy is being enacted in the majority of small and midsize businesses. Goldman’s survey highlights that 58 percent of respondents always consider an SaaS option when making an application purchase decision. At total of 39 percent prefer an SaaS option, if available.