Business and technical requirements of Software-as-a-Service: Implications in portuguese enterprise business context

Virginia Maria Araujo, Jose Ayude Vazquez

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a viable option for some companies bearing their business processes. There is a considerable adoption rate, with companies already using more than two services for over two years. However, while some companies have plans to put more business processes supported by these services in the near future, others do not know if they will. They have several concerns regarding the software providers service level. These concerns are mainly technical and functional issues, service availability and payment models. There are major changes compared to the traditional software that have implications on how the software is developed and made available to the users. The existing research addresses specific aspects and few studies give a broader view of the implications of SaaS for anyone who develops and provides software, and also for those who consumes it as an end user. What are the real needs of the Portuguese market? What fears and what is being done to mitigate them? Where should we focus our attention related to the SaaS offering in order to create more value? Thus, to analyze these questions four exploratory case studiesare used to assess the possible implications of SaaS on software developers or software providers based in Portugal and also on end-users. This article appears in the context of a realistic and deep research that includes the involvement of managers, leaders and decision makers of Portuguese companies, to realize what actually constitutes a problem in SaaS and what effectively companies would like to have available in this offer. The results of this study reveal that SaaS effectively constitutes a very interesting and solid solution for the development of Portuguese companies, however there is a lack for greater efforts particularly in terms of customization for each customer (tenant) and integration with the back-end on-premise applications.

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