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Renting KM applications in the CLOUD

The rush to cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) business models by traditional enterprise software companies and startups alike has been revolutionary in both the speed of the shift and the impact it is having on technology buyers. KM vendors and what would have once been labeled knowledge management software, which today comes under a variety of guises from collaboration to enterprise social, are no exception to this lightning-fast trend.

The initial promise of SaaS to buyers has been a move toward simple monthly subscription pricing and away from complex server/seat/processor pricing with associated costly maintenance fees. The second promise, even more appealing to some buyers, is the idea of self-provisioning software that removes the need to involve costly and often troublesome systems integrators, consultants and even in-house IT. On the other side of the equation, technology vendors have been sold on the idea of regular monthly and perpetual income while passing on the responsibility for getting the software to do what it should to the buyer. However, both sides of the SaaS equation, buyers and vendors, are likely to be disappointed with what actually transpires.

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