A survey released by the research firm, Gartner, Inc. last month indicated that software-as-a-service ( SaaS) applications have boomed in popularity. In fact, 72 percent of the 270 respondents indicated that they expected to increase their use of SaaS applications. That compares with 45 percent for on-premise applications.

One of the top SaaS implementations, also according to the survey, is expense management. Other popular applications are email, accounting, sales force automation and customer service. More than 30 percent of respondents reported using these applications on a SaaS platform.

When looking across the globe, respondents in North America and Asia/Pacific showed a greater preference for SaaS applications than their counterparts in Europe. They also said their organizations were more likely to increase their investments in SaaS this year. On the other hand, some respondents, particularly in Asia/Pacific, had had run into challenges with integrating and customizing their SaaS systems. This could be due to the fact that high-speed, high-availability networks tend to be less common in this part of the world.

Finally, it appears that organizations are becoming increasingly savvy in working with their SaaS providers. “More enterprises are renegotiating contracts for greater functionality, additional users and improved financial terms,” said Sharon Mertz, Gartner research director, in a release about the survey. In fact, nearly one-third of respondents renegotiated their SaaS contracts before the initial terms had ended.