Popularity Contest: Hosted, SaaS & Cloud Software

Mark Canes

After many discussions with individuals looking for new software, we have come to the conclusion that there is no consistent term used to describe hosted ERP software. Some people refer to it –most accurately – as a hosted solution, while others refer to it as SaaS or cloud software. So the question is: why one is most popular?

A Google Trends analysis was able to shed some light on which terms generated the most online traffic.

The above graph illustrates the comparative use of the terms. You can see that the term SaaS was not being used until 2006 and Cloud Computing was not used until late 2007. This skewed the results towards hosted considerably as hosted was being used to refer to website hosting and other concepts long before SaaS and cloud computing came along. Yet, despite these trend-polluting factors, it still seems as if hosted is the consistently preferred term over SaaS and cloud computing – now relating to a vast number of cloud-based consumer applications – is now more popular than them all. Of course, each of these terms refers to a different concept, however, they are all closely related and many people that are not technology experts tend to use them interchangeably.

With the benefits of Hosted ERP Software becoming more apparent, hosted software will continue to increase in popularity at an astounding pace. As such, we expect to see the term hosted used more and more, particularly when dealing with ERP applications. It will be interesting to revisit these figures in a few years to see what has changed.

Note: Although the data presented is US data, the figures were very similar for Canada as well.