483RA SaaS Acquisition Patterns: More Formal, “Front Door” Growth in More User Firms
Authors: Bruce Guptill, Mark Koenig
A common belief among users and providers is that SaaS tends to enter enterprises through the “side door,” meaning that a user or a group of users, perhaps as a department or process team, will acquire and begin using a SaaS solution outside of formal acquisition/procurement guidelines. The typical assumption is that SaaS can be, and therefore is, acquired by business users without oversight or involvement by IT. As a result, SaaS is often seen as a disruptive influence within user enterprises, pitting business against IT.
Saugatuck’s latest SaaS survey program among user executives (see Note 1) confirms that a significant number of firms do allow, and even enable, SaaS to be acquired by users outside of formal IT procedures. But the vast majority of firms subject SaaS acquisition to formal procedures, including both business and IT oversight.