The SaaS/Ecommerce Conundrum

Gartner has found that 90 percent of e-commerce sites will leverage SaaS in some capacity by 2013, such as sales capabilities or product feedback. In short, the same fallout that SaaS has had on the CRM market over the past decade, Gartner says it will have on ecommerce applications.

But as the study notes, rarely do businesses leverage a single application for their ecommerce; backend integration with payment and Web analytics solutions is a must. Just like the CRM market, SaaS could potentially pigeonhole a company with its ecommerce initiative.

Therein lays the beauty of leveraging open source at the application level. The irony of all this is the fact that most Web sites leverage open source more than most people are aware of. Most of the world’s largest and well known Web sites use open source to build and run their sites. Web 2.0 is simply an extension of this, so why not simply extend that reach to the application level where a CRM system can be integrated via a set of open, standards-based Web services and give businesses the best of both worlds?