New Research Reveals the Impact of the Recession on SaaS, With Simple Hosted CRM Proving Most Popular With SMEs

LONDON, UK – April 9, 2010 – A recent survey conducted by Really Simple Systems, the UK’s largest online CRM ( vendor, has revealed that small and medium sized enterprises are embracing hosted applications such as web based CRM ( at a faster rate than ever. The annual survey questions SME business owners, directors, sales, marketing and IT managers, on their views of SaaS and the reliability of the products currently available in the market.

The survey confirmed that simple hosted CRM ( continues to outshine ERP, Payroll, HR and Manufacturing as the preferred SaaS offering for SMEs. ERP, Payroll, HR and Manufacturing offerings have improved their penetration in the SME market but continue to lag behind. 67 percent of respondents reported that they are confident in online CRM with 41 percent actively using web based CRM applications. Hosted ERP trails behind CRM with only 13 percent of respondents using ERP SaaS applications and only 39 percent reporting confidence in hosted ERP applications.

From a sample of 466 respondents, the majority from small and medium sized organisations with less than 50 employees, 62 percent report increased confidence in hosted applications between March 2009 and March 2010. This is mirrored by the 62 percent who agreed that hosted applications had been made a more attractive proposition by the current state of the economy.

John Paterson, CEO of online CRM provider Really Simple Systems comments, “These figures very much reflect our day to day experience in the marketplace. The economic instability over the last 18 months has sharpened SMEs’ search for value for money; hosted systems’ pricing and fast ROI offers them an extremely attractive solution.”

Paterson continues, “Our survey revealed that 80 percent of respondents agree that hosted systems require less internal IT-support. This is key in showing how SaaS is being realised as a means of dramatically reducing IT overheads and removing the burden of system maintenance for small organisations who would rather allocate that resource to developing the business. Furthermore, the added advantage of SaaS is that business-critical information like that on simple hosted CRM applications, is readily available at all times, from any computer with internet connectivity, allowing more flexible working across the business.”

Web based CRM has almost completely caught up with in-house CRM for SMEs, with 41 percent of respondents now using online CRM applications as opposed to 42 percent using in-house CRM. Paterson comments, “The rate at which SaaS CRM applications have closed the gap on in-house systems is very impressive. Last year, the split was 47/36 percent in favour of in-house, which just goes to show how far SaaS has come in the last few years, impacted heavily by the economy.”

The survey also revealed that almost half of respondents feel as confident about the reliability, speed, data safety, and functionality of SaaS applications as they do with in-house offerings. This is indicative of the now almost identical usage of in-house and simple hosted CRM.

Outsourced CRM systems continue to prove unpopular with only 2.6 percent of respondents opting for this option and the number of respondents not using any CRM system stands at 14 percent, a one percent drop from the same time last year. Paterson adds “The relatively stagnated state of the outsourced CRM market and the small change in those with no CRM system, would indicate that there has been a migration away from in-house to web based CRM systems, rather than new adopters entering the market.”

Furthermore, the research also showed that 37% of those questioned planned to spend more on IT in the next 12 months than they had done compared with the last 12 months. Paterson concludes, “This is encouraging news for the IT sector as a whole and with the affordability offered by hosted applications, the rewards of a buoyant SaaS marketplace may reach further that first thought.”

About Really Simple Systems
Really Simple Systems simple Hosted CRM is aimed at small and medium sized organisations with between 5 and 200 people who want a straightforward online CRM sales, marketing and support system. The hosted model is particularly suitable for companies with multiple locations and sales people who work remotely or at home. Really Simple Systems, winner of the Software Satisfaction Award 2008 Small Business Software CRM, is the largest United Kingdom provider of web based CRM systems with offices in the UK, North America and Australia. Users include the Royal Academy of Arts, the British Library, the Red Cross, NHS and the Department of Health as well as many small and medium sized companies.

For further information, please contact:
John Paterson
Really Simple Systems
Tel +44-(0)1730-823300

Max Deeley
Tel +44-(0)1932-578-800

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