Software-as-a-Service Gains Traction with Printing Firms

Software-as-a-Service Adoption by Solution Type - What types of software do you subscribe to through a SaaS delivery model? (Double click chart to enlarge.)

[N = 40 Respondents who use Software-as-a-Service; Source: NAPCO/InfoTrends Emerging Trends Quarterly Survey]

Competition is forcing print and marketing service providers to expand their offerings and build new services at a brisk pace. Software is a key enabler to adding such services. However, many printing firms struggle to procure the resources needed to effectively develop and roll out software-driven services.

This conundrum has prompted firms to “rent” or “subscribe to” solutions from providers that sell Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) in order to gain required computing power. The benefits of using SaaS include a universally accessible Web-based interface, reduced start-up costs, and decreased risks in developing and launching new services.

Last year, InfoTrends, in partnership with the North American Publishing Co. (NAPCO), the publisher of Printing Impressions magazine, surveyed 153 print service providers regarding their knowledge and use of software delivered through a SaaS model.

Survey Says: Web-to-Print Tops SaaS Apps
One of the most interesting findings of this survey is that nearly a quarter of the firms surveyed that subscribe to software through a Software-as-a-Service model subscribe to Web-to-Print software. SaaS has become an ideal delivery method for Web-enabled print services as it allows a service provider to quickly and affordably set up an online storefront.

Cross-Media Another Popular SaaS Purchase

Cited by 50 percent of respondents, the second most popular software category that respondents reported accessing through SaaS was multi-channel communication solutions. This finding speaks to the nature of how printing firms are diversifying their services mix to include cross-media marketing services.

Other software categories that have seen SaaS adoption include production workflow management, customer relationship management (CRM), and variable data publishing (VDP).

The printing industry in general is keeping up with other business sectors in its adoption of Software-as-a-Service. InfoTrends expects that over the next five years, SaaS software delivery will become even more common as more solutions will become SaaS-enabled.

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