It seems like the buzz about “on-demand” spend management solutions is heating up.

Essentially, on-demand enterprise spend management solutions are those purchasing-related systems that are hosted by the software provider, thus eliminating the hassle, delay, and expense of installing and maintaining the software internally.

What’s odd about this is that in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, this approach was tried and called the Application Service Provider model. And this model seemed to crash and burn.

Early on, Elcom, a spend management solutions provider pushed for this model. Elcom struggled mightily but has survived and still seems to be a player in the market. But now it seems that things are coming full circle in this particular approach to using spend management solutions.

Years ago, at a previous employer, we tried the hosted model for our eProcurement system. And then we ultimately brought it in-house for installation on our own servers.

The software providers just seemed to be good at software but horribly bad at hosting. Some spend management solutions providers partnered with third-party data centers for the hosting, but it seemed that all of those data centers were poorly funded and on the verge of financial collapse.

Today, years later, it appears that solutions providers are revisiting this model. Hopefully smarter, though!

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