Enterprise software-as-a-service seems to be garnering much of the press these days, but which companies are actually ditching the traditional out-of-the-box for, shall we say, out of the box thinking? Like with almost all things cloud, the numbers get fuzzy very quickly, but I like the sound of two recent reports.
The duo of interesting surveys have shed some light on the question of actual Software-as-a-Service adoption in various-sized companies, as NASDAQ News’ Steve Monfort reports:
Techaisle, an IT market research firm, reports that companies begin to use cloud computing services when they expand beyond 20 employees. As companies grow to 250-plus employees, they become more likely to move IT operations in-house – and if they continue to grow past 500 workers, they turn once again to the cloud.
Monfort also notes a Novell study that indicated 77% of 2,500-person companies are using “some form of cloud computing today,” mostly to complement rather than replace existing IT infrastructure. Both studies jibe with what I’ve seen anecdotally: The smallest companies are often relying as much as they can on SaaS, whether it’s free products like Google Docs or low-cost SaaS options like Quick Books Online. And the big companies almost cannot avoid it, with the sales force demanding, well, Salesforce.
It’s the medium-sized companies, however, that are being the most cautious: They’re too big with too-specific needs for the “trimmed down” offerings available to the low-end, but not able to afford enough customization and cloud redundancy on the high-end to make it worth their while.
As mentioned, the data itself can be a bit cloudy. See a recent CompTIA study which found mid-sized businesses being the largest “cloud” adopters. Sure, cloud can cover a lot of things beyond SaaS, but perhaps the most important lesson from all this is that the right cloud strategy isn’t what your peers are doing, it’s what’s right for your company.