Software purchases made by non-IT business departments used to be called "rogue IT" or " shadow IT ." But when it comes to today's software-as-a-service model, those buying decisions are now out in the open.
"Much of SaaS purchasing comes from groups outside of the traditional IT sourcing model," according to a Forrester Research report released last month.
In a survey of 1,007 North American and European IT service buyers, 56% of respondents said that business groups are the "primary driver" behind SaaS purchases for business processes, such as when sales VPs buy Salesforce.com hosted software. And 49% of respondents said that business managers are behind industry-specific SaaS purchases, such as systems for claims processing or hospital management.
Ideally, IT departments would be helping business managers with those purchases, to mitigate long-term risks and control the total cost of ownership, the report noted.
Overall, the report by analyst Liz Herbert was bullish on SaaS, saying the model has gone mainstream and is growing as organizations reap the benefits of lower costs and faster delivery of applications.
Nevertheless, a previous Forrester report noted that the SaaS model is limited to about a quarter of the overall software market.
Read more about saas in Computerworld's SaaS Topic Center.