Software as a service (SaaS) is a centrally hosted software delivery and licensing model which licenses software on subscription basis. It is one of the major category of cloud computing and is also referred to as on-demand software. SaaS is a common delivery model for various business applications such as payroll processing software, computer aided design (CAD) software, accounting, gamification, collaboration, virtualization, customer relationship management (CRM), human resource management (HRM), content management (CM), talent acquisition, service desk management, and enterprise resource planning (ERP). ERP is a business management software that is used by an organization to manage, store, interpret, and collect data from business activities such as purchase, sales, service delivery, and finance. It provides real-time integrated view of business processes, using databases that are maintained by database management systems. SaaS ERP is a model of deploying ERP software in an on-demand or hosted environment. The goal of ERP is to reduce hardware, support, and software costs. SaaS model allows ERP software packages to be licensed or rented for a specified period of time. The ERP software is hosted either on a third-party provider or the ERP developer’s server. SaaS ERP permits businesses to use, acquire, and benefit form enterprise resource systems without much of the associated initial costs and complexities. If the software fails to meet the desired levels of expectations, this model allows organizations to dispose such software without huge sunk costs investments.
The proliferation of cloud technology has led to the shift in deployment method from on-premise ERP deployment to cloud deployment, thus aiding the growth of SaaS ERP market. The flexibility and reduced investments in IT resources offered by SaaS ERP systems are further fueling the growth of this market. The market is also witnessing increasing influence from mobile applications and social media. SaaS ERP implementation eliminates software platform components such as operating systems, maintenance tools, regional databases, and security appliances, thus reducing the overall implementation time. This lowers the risks associated with implementation failures and project delays. The unhindered access and back up guarantee provided by SaaS ERP systems is resulting in a large number of small and medium enterprises (SME’s) adopting such systems. The pay-as-you-go pricing model offered by these systems is one of the major factor facilitating the growth of the SaaS ERP market. However, issues related to data security present challenges in the growth of this market.
The SaaS ERP market can be segmented on the basis of enterprise size, end-use, application, and region. By enterprise size, the market can by further segmented into small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large enterprises. By end-use, the market is categorized into government, manufacturing, retail, IT, and professional services. The SaaS ERP finds its applications in financial management, procurement, warehouse management, supply chain management, billing management, warehouse management, revenue management, and human capital management. Geographically, the market is segmented into North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia-Pacific.
The major players operating in the SaaS ERP market include NetSuite, Inc., Oracle Corporation, SAP SE, Sage Software, Inc., Infor, Acumatica, Inc., Workday, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Ramco Systems Ltd., Epicor Software Corporation, and Plex Systems, Inc.