How to define Software-as-a-Service - An empirical study of Finnish SaaS providers

Tuomas Mäkilä*, Antero Järvi, Mikko Rönkkö, Jussi Nissilä

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a relatively new and much hyped model of software delivery where the software is procured as a service over the Internet. We found that there were several different definitions of SaaS. Based on these definitions, we distilled a list of five characteristics that are required for a firm to be considered a SaaS provider. Using survey data from the Finnish software industry, we tested the proposed criteria. Closer examination of the survey indicated the criteria were necessary but not sufficient. Therefore, we extended the criteria to better grasp the phenomenon and tested the changes through a qualitative validation. Also, we found that while a large number of firms are producing software that is technically SaaS, pure SaaS-based business models are much more rare in Finland.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSoftware Business - First International Conference, ICSOB 2010, Proceedings
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    EventInternational Conference on Software Business - Jyvaskyla, Finland
    Duration: 21 Jun 201023 Jun 2010
    Conference number: 1

    Publication series

    NameLecture Notes in Business Information Processing
    Volume51 LNBIP
    ISSN (Print)1865-1348


    ConferenceInternational Conference on Software Business
    Abbreviated titleICSOB


    • Qualitative study
    • Software as a service
    • Survey

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