SaaS, a burning mystery to many

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SaaS revealed!

Software as a service may be catching fire as a software delivery model, but it's still a foreign term to many people. A recent survey of government and industry insiders by GCN and Government Futures found that many respondents are unfamiliar with the practice of SaaS. And even those who said they were familiar with it sometimes disagreed on its strengths and weaknesses, and on whether common perceptions about SaaS are true or false.

They did agree on some things, however. More than 80 percent said SaaS will not catch on quickly with government said Margaret Anderson, co-founder of Government Futures. Respondents expected the model to be used mostly in niches or expected agencies to include it in ther planning stages by 2010. "Only in recruiting did even 50 percent think use would be widespread by 2010," Anderson said.

The following results are based on responses from those who said the are familiar with SaaS.

Not True True (high impact) True (low impact)
Shortens time to deliver new functionality 17% 54% 29%
Lowers implementation costs 36% 40% 24%
Easier for government to buy, given its funding model 38% 51% 11%
Performance is slow or not reliable 73% 10% 17%
Increases security risks 38% 31% 31%
Increases exposure of privacy information 42% 31% 27%
Hard to integrate across multiple providers 34% 36% 30%
Hard to integrate with existing systems 26% 48% 26%
Scalability for government-size systems is unlikely 69% 17% 14%

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.


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