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Analysis : The relative importance of SaaS for different categories of software and target markets

Accessing software solutions in SaaS mode is no longer an issue, however the distribution of such solutions varies depending on the category of software. A study of 410 solutions referenced in the compuBase database reveals that not all categories are affected in the same way by the SaaS phenomenon.

At the top of the list, the categories most frequently impacted by the SaaS are:
· Educational and training software
· Network and telecom software
· Management and production software

For the last group in this category it is mainly software relating to sales, finance, HR, Helpdesk & GED functions that are available in SaaS mode, ERP and accountancy solutions are a lot less.

At the bottom of the list we find:
· Audio visual software
· Scientific software
· Electronic software
· Vertical market software

A similar analysis of the markets addressed by software publishers selling SaaS solutions shows that they appeal to certain markets more than to others. These are the client targets addressed by IT & Telecom partners where SaaS is the most often cited.

Vertical markets addressed by IT partners where the SaaS model is above average:
· On-line services
· Fishing industry
· Property management
· Logistics
· The Textile industry
· Tourism
· Regional administration
· Raw material extraction
· Hotel & restaurant industry
· Leisure industry
· Law

Vertical markets addressed by IT partners where the SaaS model is below average:
· Heavy Industry
· Telecommunications
· The naval industry
· Education and training
· The military
· Public administration
· Electronics
· Agriculture
· Local collectivities
· Aeronautics

The comparison between the different types of solutions and the markets where the SaaS is above or below average reveals that sometimes there is a divergence between the types of product where the SaaS mode is more present than average and a market which, on the contrary, seems to be less addressed than average.

This is particularly the case for education and training where SaaS is often available with software publishers, but where, for the partners distributing the solutions, it features less than average as an addressed market. It is possible for a publisher of training software not to address the training and education markets. This is often the case with e-learning solutions which address a far larger range of client-types than just the education sector.

Another view shows that generally the SaaS model is slightly more present in service companies (6/10 of the top companies) than in the industrial sector (2/10).

An anecdotal point of note is that the fishing industry appears once again at the top of the list whereas agriculture comes last. We have often noted that the fishing industry is a leader in terms of its use of new technologies. The need to be able to sell the catch before getting into port and the use of multiple sources of information are two explanations for this high use of IT & telecom technology.

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