When you think of open source software (OSS), Software as a Service (SaaS) might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but OSS plays a role in SaaS just the same. It's there in CRM offerings from Salesforce.com, RightNow Technologies, and SugarCRM.
A new Gartner Group report -- Open Source in SaaS, 2008 – notes that while OSS plays a big role in SaaS infrastructure now, that role will grow even larger over the next few years. In fact, Gartner predicts that a whopping 90 percent of SaaS providers will use some amount of open source software by 2010. This won't guarantee cheaper or even better products, of course, but the trend is certainly a vote of confidence in the power of OSS to fuel the growth of SaaS. The key to open source SaaS in the long term will be having the right mix of platform, community, and developers.