Intellect’s SaaS group has published recently a paper called “The business case for Software as a Service“. The paper lays out the technical and cost benefits of SaaS, together with checklists covering selection criteria, legal considerations and comparisons of SaaS applications to traditional in-house systems.
Cherryleaf made some minor contributions to this paper – so minor we didn’t think they merited our listing as contributors to this paper (a mistake in hindsight).
The report states, SaaS applications are generally easy to use and don’t require a great deal of training and online Help. So why is this?
In part, it’s because:
1. SaaS applications are newly developed applications. This means the developers have been able to build upon the recent developments in usability, when they’ve developed the application.
2. SaaS products typically deal with familiar business tasks, such as finance and sales prospecting. Where a SaaS application does try to explain new concepts or tasks (viz. Google Wave), users can still find they struggle to use the application.
3. SaaS applications can be fixed quickly and are usually subject to continuous improvement. Pilot programmes can be much smaller and quicker to conduct. SaaS applications can be measured and tested more easily, using Web Analytics.
Hopefully, the checklists in the paper will serve as good guides and help you navigate the hype that currently surrounds SaaS and avoid any pitfalls.