Just a few days ago Gil Yehuda from Forrester predicted that SaaS collaboration solutions like Box.net will continue to find success in the current economy because business-lead collaboration needs will continue to grow while IT departments are squeezed. He sees this as an expansion of the concept of Tech Populism where, not just SMBs, but business units in enterprises "increasingly behave like SMBs, and they are going out and provisioning technology on their own."
While we're definitely seeing this trend at Box.net where many businesses come to us looking for a solution, we're also seeing forward-thinking IT managers who recognize that the cost savings of going with a solution like Box, even in a larger Enterprise, are significant. I recently spoke with an IT manager at a publishing firm (we'd like to share their story sometime, so stay tuned) about how their marketing department saved upwards of $10k a year by using Box.net to collaborate with internal and external partners. So while I think it is true that many businesses will increasingly see more and more value in using a cloud-based service to enable their departments to collaborate more effectively, I think that IT managers are not as slow to pick up on the value of lowering cost as Gil may imply.
Gil does give a ray of hope for better collaboration between IT and business (and that there is light at the end of the economic tunnel):
"When the economy picks up, IT and the business can have a heart-to-heart talk and make some decisions about the future of the SaaS based content."
We all hope the economy picks up soon, but I think many IT managers and business leads are already having that heart-to-heart.
Thanks for thinking of us Gil.
Post by Jen Grant, VP of Marketing