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Many enterprises and service providers are now grappling with how cloud models and economics will impact them. The specter of a challenging business climate may well hasten the need to seek IT resources that are supported through greater cloud computing approaches -- to save money, as well as to better reach global audiences and gain Web-scale efficiencies. The goal is to take advantage of what cloud models offer, but to do so with low risk and in alignment with enterprise IT dictates and requirements around management, security, governance and visibility.
I think this interview article provides very valuable information about how SaaS can benefit enterprises. One of the things that struck chord with the way I look at it is that of the economics of using SaaS. A small business (or a big one for that matter) has to be vigilant on the fixed cost that they are incurring for the business. The reason being that they can ONLY start making profit once they have sold enough to cover their fixed costs (also called break even). The higher the fixed cost, higher the number of units/customer transactions to become profitable. Not that much of concern is the variable cost, because if you don't sell you don't incur it. SaaS converts your IT investments from fixed to variable cost and here lies the biggest impact for the enterprise.
One of the problems that the small SaaS application providers encounter is how to manage the billing and customers for providing the service. A lot of energy (read R&D spending) goes into developing the billing and mediation software. While researching, I came across a company called eVapt who have done an incredible job of developing the software that can integrate with your legacy CRM solutions and enable you to not only speed up roll out of SaaS but also to predict which customers would make renew contracts and helps a lot in contract and customer management. With the help of such softwares, I am sure SaaS will gain a fast popularity and break the myths about compromising with the organization security.