SaaS Adoption Maintains Rapid Growth
Modern enterprises seek opportunities to drive greater levels of efficiency and productivity into their businesses. One of the key trends over the last decade has been the transition away from applications purchased and deployed in private data centers to the consumption of applications as software-as-a-service. ESG’s annual technology spending intentions research highlights the shift in SaaS adoption over the period between 2013 and 2019. Looking over this six-year window, it is clear to see the rapid growth of SaaS adoption, with the 2019 research indicating that 67% of respondents consume 20% or more of their total applications via SaaS, up from only 39% six years ago.
To gain greater insight into SaaS adoption, use, and importance to the business, ESG surveyed 200 IT decision makers knowledgeable about their organization’s business applications and IT equipment in place to support distributed and/or international workers. Specifically, respondents were at enterprise organizations of 1,000 or more employees that are globally distributed (10% or more of their workforce resides outside of North America).
The first goal was to understand which SaaS applications were in use today. As Figure 2 illustrates, the most common applications cited by qualified respondents included office productivity, CRM, workflow management, and online file sharing solutions. This snapshot represents just a few of the dominant SaaS applications respondents are using on a daily basis to be productive. In fact, of the six enterprise SaaS applications we addressed in our survey, on average, respondents reported that 2.5 of these applications are in use at their organizations today.
SaaS Is Critical for the Distributed and International Workforce
SaaS application usage is rapidly increasing in globally distributed enterprises. As a result, organizations now see these distributed and international workers accessing SaaS-based applications on a regular basis. In fact, 62% of the respondents indicate that over half of their organizations’ distributed or international workforce access SaaS applications on a daily basis. And even more telling, not one respondent said that these distributed workers didn’t use a SaaS application. According to the survey, the device preferred by nine out of ten users for accessing SaaS applications is a laptop (91%), followed by desktops (66%) and tablets and smartphones (64%). This reflects the fact that most workers leverage multiple devices, desktops, or laptops in the office, but more likely use laptops and mobile devices when travelling or working from home.
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