Almost all enterprises are expecting to increase or maintain the use of software-as-a-service (SaaS) in the coming years, according to the latest report from Gartner.
The analyst firm said that 95 per cent of organisations are expecting to grow or maintain SaaS deployments, most citing lower total cost of ownership as a key factor.
Other factors cited by respondents were 'integration requirements' and a 'change in sourcing strategies'.
However, although companies have rushed to adopt SaaS, few have proper strategies in place. Gartner said that just 40 per cent have policies for evaluating providers and their software packages.
"SaaS applications clearly are no longer seen as a new deployment model by our survey base, with almost half of those surveyed affirming use of SaaS applications in their business for more than three years," said Sharon Mertz, research director at Gartner.
"The varying levels of maturity within the user base suggest growing opportunities for service providers along the adoption curve, as organisations seek assistance with initiatives ranging from process redesign to implementation to integration services."
One element driving adoption is the maturity of services, which have broadened in functionality, Mertz explained.
The most popular types of applications taken on by firms in this way are email, accounting, sales force automation, expense management and customer service, and just under a third of firms polled are using this kind of service.
Over half expect to increase their investments 'slightly', and just under 20 per cent had plans to invest 'significantly' more.
Just under a third expect to decrease or maintain current levels, and 16 per cent plan to take some applications back in house.
Companies persisting with a SaaS strategy are advised to renegotiate their contracts in order to get the most value for money.
"Issues aside, organisations are becoming more savvy when it comes to renegotiating their SaaS contracts," Mertz said.
"A key survey finding was that more organisations are renegotiating contracts for greater functionality, additional users and improved financial terms.
Thirty per cent of respondents said that they had renegotiated their SaaS contracts before the end of the initial term, according to Mertz.
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