With many companies now understanding the value Software as a Service (SaaS) offers, the demand for SaaS solutions continues to accelerate. This has led to instances in the market where some companies have tried to “muddy the water” about their ability to offer a SaaS solution. We came across this article from Forrester Research, a highly regarded information technology research and analyst firm, that does a great job of defining SaaS and explaining how to tell true SaaS solutions from the pretenders. The article warns companies against purchasing solutions that bill themselves as SaaS but fall well short of possessing the characteristics of true SaaS. Specifically, true SaaS solutions offer superior value in terms of agility, standardization, and efficiency.  

As the piece so aptly points out, just because a solution runs in the cloud and is accessible on mobile devices doesn’t mean it is true SaaS, and that’s a problem if you are “expecting benefits like fast, seamless upgrades or the ability to quickly expand into new modules or to flex your usage.”

“Fake” SaaS solutions will generally:

  • Lack business agility
  • Require large upfront investments instead of a pay-per-use pricing model
  • Fail to deliver cost advantages over the long haul
  • Require disruptive upgrades

So how do you tell a true SaaS solution from the fakes? Forrester notes that a true SaaS solution will contain:

  • A multitenant approach that yields better cost efficiency
  • One implementation that yields greater agility
  • Subscription and pay-per-use pricing that means greater cost flexibility
  • Self-service and automatic provisioning that speeds implementation
  • Increased autonomy for the business user

You can access the Forrester article here. If you have any questions about how SaaS solutions can help you eliminate paper and automate your purchase to pay process or quote to cash process, please contact us at

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