It has long been my belief that the only reason more businesses haven’t been picking up on SaaS is because they haven’t really needed to.  After all, SaaS is about opening up new options to the SMEs (small-medium enterprises) who can’t afford traditional out-of-the-box software … but they’ve been doing OK up until now, so why should they adopt SaaS?  It’s something new and that comes with all sorts of scary stuff attached to it.

A typical example is route optimization as a service.  Who can benefit from this?  SMEs in the haulage industry who can’t afford the $90,000+ price-tag on traditional software that does the job.  So far they’ve got by without it… all the SMEs have got by without it.  This is an extreme example, of course, because route opt can reduce journey times by 30%.  A lot of SaaS apps make less obvious savings or increases in efficiency.

As EnewsMediaMagazine says:

With SaaS, the business pays a usage fee to access the same software over the Internet, with no installation, no upgrade costs and no maintenance or troubleshooting. What’s more, there are no up-front expenses for purchasing software, which makes it easier for businesses to access the latest and greatest business applications.

So what’s my point?  I guess what I’m trying to say is that now we’re facing a recession (ouch!  I said it!  Sorry, sorry, what we’re in is a cuddly, manageable credit crunch… credit crunch… sounds more like a chocolate bar than an economic crisis…) everybody is going to be forced to tighten their belts.  And the kind of software that Software as a Service is opening up to everyone is going to start looking ike less of an optional gamble and more like a necessity.

What’s the counter to that argument?  People will say that nobody is going to change their business practices in times of trouble.  The hatches will be battened and people will try to weather the storm.  While this might be true, all it takes is a couple of people to give SaaS a go (and let’s face it, it really isn’t much of a gamble, with most SaaS companies making the transition as easy as is humanly possible by offering free trials, etc.)  and when these people start trimming the corporate fat and suddenly become a whole lot more efficient, it’s going to create a vacuum that will suck everyone else into it… in short, business will have to adopt SaaS in order to remain competitive.

Is this first-grade economics a load of  baloney?  You know, I really don’t think it is.

Software as a service UK & USA, coming to SMEs near you very soon…