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SaaS Exploding in Hybrid Form

Recently, global IT consultancy Avanade commissioned Kelton Research for a global study about cloud computing and the adoption of SaaS, and the findings were pretty remarkable. The prominent thread in the study was that SaaS is catching on, and at an unprecedented rate, but it is carving a niche more as a hybrid platform—usage with a legacy system—than as a freestanding one.

Not only are more companies adopting SaaS, more are considering adoption than they were even earlier this year. A similar study was conducted in January, and at the time 54% of participants said they would not consider cloud computing solutions; the more recent survey shows a decrease to 37%. The previous poll also showed 61% of companies were using only internal IT systems, and today that number is down to 41%. Avanade’s study found that 68% of respondents were using SaaS at some level, but still about 30% of those said service outages were an issue.

Whatever security and reliability problems respondents had, 62% said they plan to expand their SaaS usage. However, the study had no real conclusion about whether this uptick in hybrid SaaS usage would lead those companies to move entirely to the cloud. The study did conclude that cloud computing will continue making inroads, but that some applications should remain on-premise. Avanade surmised that the gap between companies planning to adopt SaaS and those that aren’t will close in either 2011 or 2012. It will be interesting to see what ratio of cloud to on-premise usage this hybrid moves to in the future, and how controllable security and dependability can become.