SaaS and Financial Application in China

by Hua Zhang, August 28, 2008


Beijing, China 28 August 2008

Software as a service (SaaS) has been successfully applied to a number of fields and represents the next 10 years of software development. The global SaaS market is expected to reach US$19.3 billion by the year 2011, a 25% annual growth rate. In China, the SaaS market will expand to US$3.8 billion: annual growth of 33%.

Over the past five to 10 years, SaaS vendors invested a lot of capital to grow the market. In the next decade, SaaS providers will start a new gold rush and encounter fierce competition in the process. In a new report from Celent, , the SaaS landscape is categorized into five types of providers: telecommunication companies; software providers; platform providers; service providers; and desktop platform providers.

Notably, SaaS has not been put into extensive use in financial services, but this is changing. Salesforce provides human resources SaaS to Merrill Lynch and has attracted 25,000 users; Wells Fargo is the first financial institution to offer SaaS document services to consumers; and many other financial institutions are providing financial analysis instruments based on the SaaS model.

"For end users, SaaS boasts four major advantages over traditional software models: lower construction costs, lower maintenance costs, lower application thresholds, and lower application risks," says Hua Zhang, Celent analyst and author of the report. "However, some factors hinder users from buying SaaS services: security considerations, a lack of evidence regarding its advantages over commercial software, reliability, and service availability."

The 26-page report contains three tables and seven figures. A table of contents is available online.

Members of Celent's research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.  Non-members should contact for more information.  

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents

Beijing, China 28 August 2008

Executive Summary 3
Opportunities and Challenges of SaaS 5
  Survey of US SaaS Market 5
  SaaS Advantages 9
  SaaS Challenges 10
  Brief Summary 11
The SaaS Market 13
  Global SaaS Market 13
  China's SaaS Market 13
  Brief Summary 14
Competitive Landscape 16
  Types of SaaS Providers 16
  Market Leaders and Potential Competitors 17
  Market Segments 18
  Gaining Competitive Advantage 19
  Brief Summary 20
SaaS in Financial Services 21
  Salesforce 21
  Wells Fargo 22
Conclusion 23


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