A new report has found that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are struggling to integrate software as a service (SaaS) technology as their reliance on it increases.

Research firm Saugatuck Technology found 17% of SMBs are using more than one application delivered via SaaS.

Mike West, vice president of Saugatuck, said, "Integration is an important issue with respect to SaaS and while most SaaS vendors offer a range of ways you can integrate SaaS solutions with on-premise software, it varies from company to company depending on what their competencies are."

West said many companies offer integration through hosted services and appliances. Other major SaaS vendors have created partnerships that offer customers a suite of applications that are integrated with each other.

"If you're exclusively on a platform like Salesforce.com and using Salesforce.com plus other cooperating companies on AppExchange, they have their own platform that offers integration," West said.

Analsyts have commented that, on the one had, SaaS applications are built on open standards platforms and open architectures making them more suited to integration than proprietary on-premise applications. But departmental reliance on one SaaS product for finance and another for customer relationship management (CRM) for example can cause issues integrating data sources.

To address this problem, a US-based data and application integration technology provider Boomi will offer a beta version of Boomi On Demand, an SMB-oriented tool for integrating SaaS applications with each other and with on-premise software. The product will offer web-based user interface for SMBs to visually map their systems using templates created for a variety of SaaS products.