Saas – what is the Tipping Point?

Returning to a favourite theme (have I ever left it?),  I was having an interesting exchange via email and Twitter with Maria Sadler of e-conomic.

I had raised my usual question of how to persuade the diehard Sage users – and in this instance, specifically the Online 50 users – to move to real online accounting.  Maria had quoted on the e-conomic blog Paul Garside of Symbiotic Projects who had written about saving in excess of £100,000 by utilising SaaS as opposed to onpremise solutions. The case study on the e-conomic blog is well worth reading.

For the practising accountant, I suspect that the above may be of passing interest however and the savings quoted may not be the norm. There is no question that SaaS solutions tend to be cheaper than Online 50 and those committed to the concept do not need further evidence of its justification.

But for the vast majority who have are not convinced, I have yet to discover the tipping point that would move them from their diehard preferences. You would think that cost would be a factor, but on its own it is not sufficient.

So what would be – it is a given that the product must do what it needs to do, be secure and the provider stable. But apart from that what would persuade a current Sage or Online 50 user to change.

Maria says: “…It’s those who use blogs, forums and communities like Twitter who seem to have the vision.” Very true – but what about the rest?

So here is my challenge directed to the vast majority who don’t use blogs, forums and  Twitter (and the fact that you are reading this may – by definition – exclude you) :

…..Given all of the above, what are the elements and essentials that would convince you that there is a better alternative.