Many users are underwhelmed by on-premise software too. The sad fact is that when many people buy a new software package, they get caught up in the hype and not the reality. Regardless of the delivery model, it’s still software … and in the business world, it’s software which is designed to help you perform many remedial business tasks that are often pretty underwhelming in themselves, to be blunt. Furthermore, should anyone in their right mind ever claim that the software itself would “wow” you more on-demand than it would served from your own data center? (I hope not!)
As I pointed out in the wiki-paper and in numerous posts here on Sourcing Innovation, SaaS comes with a large number of advantages over traditional installed software, but, by default, “wow” is not one of them. A delivery model alone won’t “wow” you as you don’t see it. Only software can “wow” you, and while there are many great SaaS software packages out there for sourcing, procurement, and supply chain management, most of them aren’t going to “wow” you … because that’s not going to provide you value. Good supply management software increases your visibility, helps you identify cost reduction opportunities, and makes you more efficient. “Wow” eye candy might be nice to look at, but not only does it not provide you any value, it costs you. You pay more for the software (because the provider wasted money building the eye candy) and your people lose productivity, because the “wow” will distract them and just get in the way.
So while Gartner’s recent survey, summarized in a recent S&DC Executive piece, that found underwhelming customer satisfaction scores, hesitation over the true-cost of SaaS solutions, and concerns regarding how successfully SaaS applications can be integrated with other applications does raise some issues that SaaS providers need to address up-front, I’d contend that “wow” is not one of them.