Technology industry analysts at Gartner, Inc. issued a statement Wednesday (March 28, 2012) saying they expected worldwide software as a service (SaaS) revenue-which the firm defined as revenue from new licences, subscriptions and software maintenance and technical support services, including updates/upgrades-to hit US$14.5 billion this year, registering a 17.9 percent increase over the 2011 figure of US$12.3 billion. In addition, their forecast extends through 2015, by which their worldwide revenue number goes up to US$22.1 billion.
In Asia Pacific (excl. Japan), Gartner analysts said that 2012 should see SaaS revenue going up to US$934.1 million. (For comparison, their figure for 2011 was US$730.9 million.) They noted that "SaaS adoption in Asia Pacific has been fragmented" and attributed this to variance in adoption rates between mature markets (which they identified as Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan) and emerging markets (such as China, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. They also pointed out that the most popular SaaS offerings in Asia were financial (accounting) applications, enterprise resource planning (ERP), office suites, email and customer relationship management (CRM) functions-in that order.
According to Gartner analysts, the "largest opportunity" for SaaS comes from North America, which they said will hit US$9.1 billion in 2012 (the corresponding 2011 figure was US$7.8 billion), and "is the most mature of the regional markets."
Asia Pacific and North America aside, the other key regions Gartner has divided or subdivided the global SaaS market into are: Japan, which should reach US$495.2 million in 2012; Western Europe, which ought to rack up more than US$3.2 billion during the same period; Eastern Europe, which is expected to approach US$169.4 million by year's end; and, Latin America, which is projected to hit US$419.7 million come December 31, 2012. (Western and Eastern Europe both come under EMEA, i.e. Europe, the Middle East and Africa.)
Gartner Research Director Sharon Mertz, providing a global perspective on the numbers, which are published in a report (Forecast: Software as a Service, All Regions, 2010-2015, 1H12 Update available at www.gartner.com) just put out by her firm, said: "After more than a decade of use, adoption of SaaS continues to grow and evolve regionally within the enterprise application markets. Increasing familiarity with the SaaS model, continued oversight on IT budgets, the growth of platform as a service developer communities and interest in cloud computing are now driving adoption forward."
Mertz also commented on the different issues encountered by organisations deploying SaaS. Noting that they varied "by region" she said: "Limited flexibility of customisation and limited integration to existing systems are the primary reasons in North America. In EMEA, network instability is the issue most frequently encountered, whereas longer-than-expected deployments are the top issue in Asia Pacific. Vendors are more aggressively pursuing SaaS buyers outside traditional markets by offering local-language availability, forming alliances and constructing data centres to accommodate local requirements."
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