Survey: Increases in SaaS Adoption Fuel Growth, Interest in iPaaS, Cloud Integration

An intriguing new survey finds that while more than half of large U.S. firms are embracing multiple cloud-based SaaS solutions, many others are still looking for how best to deliver data privacy, data security and easily integrate apps and data between on-premises and cloud. IDN explores the survey by TechValidate Research and cloud integration provider SnapLogic.

Tags: APIs, cloud integration, data integration, iPaaS, SaaS, SalesForce.com, SnapLogic, REST, WorkDay,

Darren Cunningham
vice president



"As SaaS application, analytics and API adoption grows in the enterprise... integration should be a cloud accelerator not a bottleneck."

An intriguing new survey finds that while more than half of large U.S. firms are embracing multiple cloud-based SaaS solutions, many others are still looking for how best to deliver data privacy, data security and easily integrate apps and data between on-premises and cloud.


The survey, by TechValidate Research and cloud integration provider SnapLogic, queried more than 100 U.S. companies with revenues greater than $500 million.


The top-line results are telling, and reveal a bullish and a cautious picture for SaaS adoption:


Bullish: Thanks to SaaS options such as Salesforce.com, WorkDay and ServiceNow, cloud-delivered apps are not just for SMBs and mid-size firms. More than half (56%) of these large firms reported they already use four or more SaaS apps. Even more bullish for SaaS, the survey found almost one-fourth of respondents (22%) said they expect 25%-50% of all their business apps will be “delivered as a cloud service” by 2015.


Cautious: Despite this “bullish” SaaS momentum at many firms, many others report they still face several “barriers” to SaaS adoption.


Three primary concerns stood out:

  • Data Privacy - 47% said protecting data privacy when sharing or moving data to a cloud service was an impediment
  • Application and Data Integration - 43% noted this as a top concern
  • Data Security/Breaches - 42% said this was also a barrier

These numbers are notable and underscore that larger U.S. companies want to use cloud not just for SaaS apps – but for big data and analytics.


In fact, when it comes to using cloud-based analytics, these concerns were even more pronounced. Some 57% of respondents said data security and privacy concerns are still barriers to adopting cloud analytics. Further, 38% complained about the inability of cloud-based BI (business intelligence) tools to handle a large variety of data sources.


“Data security and privacy should always be one of the first questions customers ask a public cloud service provider, but it should only be an objection if the vendor can’t produce the certifications and SLAs that enterprise IT organizations expect,” said Darren Cunningham, vice president of marketing at SnapLogic. “In some cases the cloud security threat has more to do with job security risk than data breach risks due to the focus most public cloud providers have put into hardening their infrastructure.”


How iPaaaS, Cloud Integration Overcomes Barriers to SaaS Adoption

The results lead to a conclusion that a maturing iPaaS and cloud-resident integration sector can help IT overcome many of its lingering SaaS adoption concerns – and accelerate SaaS adoption even among the most aggressive SaaS users, said Cunningham.


“The results of this TechValidate survey are in line with the conversations we’re having with our customers, partners and prospects,” Cunningham added. “As SaaS application, analytics and API adoption grows in the enterprise, the ability to connect with other systems is the essential ingredient to long-term customer success. Integration should be a cloud accelerator not a bottleneck.”


To underscore that point, Cunningham noted the survey results show some in IT are not convinced that traditional or legacy integration tools will resolve their SaaS pain points. In particular, the survey found:

  • 43% objected to the need to use costly hardware or time-consuming software installation and configuration
  • 37% said on-premises software integration tools are “too expensive” (mainly due to the perpetual licensing model)
  • 35% said with SsaS, change management can be “painful,” especially where end-point changes mean integration re-work

Despite these points of dissatisfaction, Cunningham said the survey reveals some good news on two fronts: 1) It shows that as the iPaaS/cloud integration space matures, it is capable of meeting many of IT’s needs. 2) It also shows that IT is open to looking for many of the easy-to-use, scalable and low-cost integration technologies iPaaS/cloud integration can now provide.


“The good news is that enterprise IT organizations are now recognizing that integration should be the on-ramp, not the roadblock to SaaS application and analytics adoption and legacy approaches clearly can’t keep up with the new set of data, application and API integration requirements,” Cunningham told IDN. “In the early days of cloud application adoption, integration was either swept aside by the SaaS vendors or kicked down the curb.”


As to specifics, the survey found more than half of respondents (52%) said a successful iPaaS needs to provide “a modern and scalable architecture.” Just under 50% listed speed or time-to-value, flexibility and agility and easy access to business information as the top business drivers, especially for adopting cloud-based analytics. In addition, 41% said an iPaaS should have the ability to seamlessly handle cloud constructs such as JSON, REST and APIs.

 

Other concerns noted by survey respondents were: pricing models/total cost of ownership (33%); and gaps in functionality of SaaS apps, as compared to on-premises apps (25%).




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