The number of software vendors offering ‘Software-as-a-Service’ has been increasing in recent years. In the Software-as-a-Service model software is operated by the software vendor and delivered to the customer as a service. Existing business models and industry structures are challenged by the changes to the deployment and pricing model compared to traditional software. However, the full implications on the way companies create, deliver and capture value are not yet sufficiently analyzed. Current research is scattered on specific aspects, only a few studies provide a more holistic view of the impact from a business model perspective. For vendors it is, however, crucial to be aware of the potentially far reaching consequences of Software-as-a-Service. Therefore, a literature review and three exploratory case studies of leading software vendors are used to evaluate possible implications of Software-as-a-Service on business models. The results show an impact on all business model building blocks and highlight in particular the often less articulated impact on key activities, customer relationship and key partnerships for leading software vendors and show related challenges, for example, with regard to the integration of development and operations processes. The observed implications demonstrate the disruptive character of the concept and identify future research requirements.


Software-as-a-Service, business models, impact


ISBN: [978-1-86435-644-1]; Full paper