IDC’s 10 SaaS predictions

You might consider saving the $3,500 it costs to buy the report, BTL is running the list here. But with predictions like this let’s just say I think they owe the people who actually paid for this report at least 5 freebies.

SaaS Will Help Drive a Software Industry Transition to Subscription Licensing

Gee, ya think?

I find it hard to believe that anyone actually pays to buy these “top 10” reports that the analysts put out. Sure they are mildly interesting, but can anyone say they are terribly revealing? Plus, nobody ever goes back and actually scores the analysts on how well they do on predictions over time, at least nothing I have seen has ranked them. If you know of site that ranks analysts, please let me know.

No, I think what happens with these reports is that IDC et. al. sends them out to their clients who then end up emailing them to everyone, who then turns around and uses the predictions in their powerpoint presentations as validation for what their company is doing. Pretty soon, the phrase “IDC predicts blah blah blah” becomes widespread and IDC has accomplished a primary goal, getting their name in print…

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8 thoughts on IDC’s 10 SaaS predictions

  1. There are a few out there that piss on Gartner – Armageddon is one that springs ot mind.

    When you say you ‘think you know’ is that a euphemism for ‘I’ve seen multiple copies floating about and I’m not sure if we’ve got an enterprise licence for this stuff?’

    I think they’re fundamentally wrong about SMBs – I’m seeing some interesting examples of how, taking the portal metpahor as the starting point, vendors can add all sorts of value that just makes sense.

  2. Pingback tnjitsu » IDC Issues Thought Provoking (NOT) SaaS ‘Study’
  3. The analyst reports are not justused by vendors, Jeff. It’s a great CYA “tool” in large companies when buying products: “What do you want from me, boss, Gartner said they are both visionary AND have the ability to execute. How should I know their product doesn’t scale over 100 concurrent users…”

    As far SaaS goes most of the discussion in the blogosphere, media, etc. is pretty uninteresting and myopic. It focuses on the model, which is a “take it or leave it” model — either you use the entire SFdC stack or you don’t use it at all. That’s good for a certain set of apps.

    There will be much more interesting things happening with what you might call iSaaS (Infrastructure Software as a Service) or Middleware as a Service. The idea being that in many industries (e.g., fin serv) the business process is still very unique to individual companies, but there is opennes to an on-demand model for the infrastructure — not just the hardware, but the OS and middleware too.

    Here’s a brief (technical) glimpse of what we’re working on with the Sun Grid.

    Geva Perry, GigaSpaces

  4. I haven’t looked at the other predictions, but the one you call out about the linkage of SaaS and Subscription Revenue really seems to identify more of a structural reality of SaaS, not a prediction. I think that the interesting predictions lie at the crossroads of the big trends (SOA, SaaS, Open Source), not with any individual trends themselves. Of course, this is dangerous ground to look at with lots of variables, but I think provides intel someone could actually incorporate into their strategic planning.

  5. Geve’s point is interesting. Where are the APIs for this class of application? (other than, where are the portal frameworks that scale up and down and which can be costed appropriately? Enterprise mashup?

  6. I view these analysts in the same way that I view sell-side research analysts. Ask any smart fund manager how much value he gets from Wall St research reports and he’ll shrug. Ask him how valuable he considers the analysts he talks to on a regular basis in certain sectors, and he’ll say it’s a huge part of how he gathers information. Gartner et al are the same way. If you are lucky enough to work for an enterprise that pays the $3,500 on a regular basis, you have access to the Gartner analysts phone numbers. They are MUCH more valuable as people then they are as authors.

    Incidentally, I agree with your evaluation of the SaaS predictions. “SMEs will remain a tough nut to crack”?? That makes no sense. SFDC can’t get themselves out of that market!

  7. That bottle of wine is getting more fulfilling with each passing month. Considering that Congress is going to be in session only 90 days this year, I’m beginning to think that our bet is hopelessly stacked in my favor!

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