19th ITS Biennial Conference 2012, Bangkok, Thailand, 18 - 21 November 2012: Moving Forward with Future Technologies: Opening a Platform for All
Cloud computing, especially Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), changes the IT processes of companies for application deployment, access, usage, maintenance, governance and management. In an age of Bring-Your-Own-Device, small businesses through to globally operating companies increasingly support their employees and customers with SaaS-applications that allow access to internal and external business information. Whether employees are in the office, at a client facility, at home or on the road, they need fast, easy access to business applications with any type of device. SaaS offers companies an interesting alternative to classical on-premise IT solutions. Cloud computing provides innovative applications, high connectivity and performance, cost reduction, flexibility and fast time to market with a minimum of effort. Cloud computing is a special form of outsourcing that has its roots in the fifties. Ten years ago similar concepts to cloud computing e.g. Application Service Providing (ASP) appeared and failed. But it seems that the willingness to use cloud computing is now much higher and the cost pressure effects of the financial crisis also motivate decision makers in companies to focus on cloud computing. This contribution presents the results of actual scientific literature investigations alongside interviews with owners of Software-as-a-Service Marketplaces. It describes several types of SaaS marketplaces using different business models to bring together customers and providers. It shows that SaaS marketplaces are two-sided and demonstrates how platforms are emerging that bundle features into significant value propositions for both sides. This work is relevant to firms who seek business solution recommendations beyond the focus of their on-premise-focussed advisors. It is also relevant for owners and potential owners of SaaS marketplaces and SaaS providers exploring alternatives in their distribution mix.