Software as a Service and the Pricing Strategy for Vendors

Software as a Service and the Pricing Strategy for Vendors

Nizar Abdat (Utrecht University, The Netherlands), Marco Spruit (Utrecht University, The Netherlands) and Menne Bos (Accenture, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-877-3.ch010
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Abstract

Software as a Service (SaaS) has been a dominant information technology (IT) news topic over the last few years. It is a new phenomenon where software as a digital product, instead of being locally installed and delivered as a product, has been shifted to being installed in data centers and delivered as a service. The users do not need to worry about the installation and maintenance of their software since these tasks have now become the responsibility of the vendor. In reality, many people are still puzzled about SaaS with other new technologies. Next to that, there are numerous enterprise users who hesitate to adopt SaaS solutions because of the idea of storing data outside their company. This chapter elaborates on the state-of-the-art of SaaS from both scientific and business perspectives to help readers better understand this technology.
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Background

’Software’ is a general term used to describe the computer programs, procedures, rules, and the associated documentation, in relation to the operation of a computer system which are stored in a read/write memory unit as part of the digital system (Langholz, et al., 1998; Wordreference.com, 2009). This term was first introduced by Tukey (1958), and has become an integral element of the English language and has been included in many other languages. At that time, when the computer era began, the manufacturer sold the computer as a physical machine, which included the operating system and rudimentary software at no additional cost. This situation has changed after IBM announced on June 23, 1969, that it would unbundle the hardware and software in the future. Later on, this has been seen as the birth date of the software industry as we know today (Kittlaus & Clough, 2009). Within a few decades the software market has dramatically grown.

From that time until today, in most situations, customers are required to buy the software license, install and run the software on their local computer or server before they can use it. The installation files can be stored on CDs or other storage devices like diskettes, USB sticks, etc. The licenses and CDs are usually sold by software vendors. Since this type of software is installed on the premises (in the building) of the users rather than on a remote facility, it also commonly known as ‘on-premise software’. Also, because this type of software has been used for ages compared to the new software phenomenon, it is also known as traditional software.

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