Posts Tagged ‘platform as a service’

Trends: 10 Trends for #Cloud Computing in 2014 To Dominate #Digital Disruption [Slide Share]

Ten Trends For Cloud Computing In 2014 To Dominate Digital Disruption

Constellation’s cloud computing research falls under the Tech Optimization and Innovation business theme and throughout other areas where applications are applied.  The trends for 2014 cover across the entire cloud stack.

Holger Mueller, VP and Principal Analyst, covers the impact of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) as well as HR Technologies in the Future of Work.  R “Ray” Wang researches the impact of Cloud Computing on business strategy and the application landscape.

Below are the 2014 trends for Cloud Computing.  Join the Constellation experience as we set to help our clients dominate digital disruption.

<iframe src=”http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/29546510″ width=”600″ height=”400″ frameborder=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” style=”border:1px solid #CCC;border-width:1px 1px 0;margin-bottom:5px” allowfullscreen> </iframe> <div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”https://www.slideshare.net/rwang0/10-trends-for-cloud-computing-in-2014-to-dominate-digital-disruption” title=”10 Trends for #Cloud Computing in 2014 To Dominate Digital Disruption” target=”_blank”>10 Trends for #Cloud Computing in 2014 To Dominate Digital Disruption</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/rwang0″ target=”_blank”>R “Ray” Wang & Holger Mueller</a></strong> </div>

Your POV.

Do you have a cloud strategy?  Can you see how the cloud will help enable digital business disruption?   Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationR (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) org.

Please let us know if you need help with your Cloud and Digital Business transformation efforts.  Here’s how we can assist:

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* Not responsible for any factual errors or omissions.  However, happy to correct any errors upon email receipt.

Copyright © 2001 -2014 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.
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Research Report: 2011 Cloud Computing Predictions For Vendors And Solution Providers

This blog was jointly posted by @Chirag_Mehta (Independent Blogger On Cloud Computing) and @rwang0 (Principal Analyst and CEO, Constellation Research, Inc.)

Part 1 was featured on Forbes: 2011 Cloud Computing Predictions For CIO’s And Business Technology Leaders

As Cloud Leaders Widen The Gap, Legacy Vendors Attempt A Fast Follow
Cloud computing leaders have innovated with rapid development cycles, true elasticity, pay as you go pricing models, try before buy marketing, and growing developer ecosystems.  Once dismissed as a minor blip and nuisance to the legacy incumbents, those vendors who scoffed cloud leaders now must quickly catch up across each of the four layers of cloud computing (i.e. consumption, creation, orchestration, and infrastructure) or face peril in both revenues and mindshare (see Figure 1).  2010 saw an about face from most vendors dipping their toe into the inevitable.    As vendors lay on the full marketing push behind cloud in 2011, customers can expect that:

Figure 1. The Four Layers Of Cloud Computing

General Trends

  • Leading cloud incumbents will diversify into adjacencies. The incumbents, mainly through acquisitions, will diversify into adjacencies as part of an effort to expand their cloud portfolio. This will result into blurry boundaries between the cloud, storage virtualization, data centers, and network virtualization.  Cloud vendors will seek tighter partnerships across the 4 layers of cloud computing as a benefit to customers.  One side benefit – partnerships serve as a pre-cursor to mergers and as a defensive position against legacy on-premises mega vendors playing catch up.
  • Cloud vendors will focus on the global cloud. The cloud vendors who initially started with the North America and followed the European market, will now likely to expand in Asia and Latin America.  Some regions such as Brazil, Poland, China, Japan, and India will spawn regional cloud providers. The result – accelerated cloud adoption in those countries, who resisted to use a non-local cloud provider.  Cloud will prove to be popular in countries where software piracy has proven to be an issue.
  • Legacy vendors without true Cloud architectures will continue to cloud wash with marketing FUD. Vendors who lack the key elements of cloud computing will continue to confuse the market with co-opted messages on private cloud, multi-instance, virtualization, and point to point integration until they have acquired or built the optimal cloud technologies.  Expect more old wine (and vinegar, not balsamic but the real sour kind, in some cases) in new bottles: The legacy vendors will re-define what cloud means based on what they can package based on their existing efforts without re-thinking the end-to-end architecture and product portfolio from grounds-up.
  • Tech vendors will make the shift to Information Brokers. SaaS and Cloud deployments provide companies with hidden value and software companies with new revenues streams.  Data will become more valuable than the software code. Three future profit pools willl include benchmarking, trending, and prediction.  The market impact – new service based sub-categories such as data-as-service and analysis-as-a-service will drive information brokering and future BPO models.

SaaS (Consumption Layer)

  • Everyone will take the SaaS offensive. Every hardware and system integrator seeking higher profit margins will join the Cloud party for the higher margins.  Software is the key to future revenue growth and a cloud offense ensures the highest degree of success and lowest risk factors.  Hardware vendors will continue to acquire key integration, storage, and management assets.  System integrators will begin by betting on a few platforms, eventually realizing they need to own their own stack or face a replay of the past stack wars.
  • On-premise enterprise ISVs will push for a private cloud. The on-premise enterprise ISVs are struggling to keep up with the on-premise license revenue and are not yet ready to move to SaaS because of margin cannibalization fears,lack of   scalable platforms, and a dirth of experience to run a SaaS business from a sales and operation perspectives. These on-premise enterprise software vendors will make a final push for an on-premise cloud that would mimic the behavior of a private cloud. Unfortunately, this will essentially be a packaging exercise to sell more on-premise software.  This flavor of cloud will promise the cloud benefits delivered to a customer’s door such as pre-configured settings, improved lifecycle, and black-box appliance. These are not cloud applications but will be sold and marketed as such.
  • Money and margin will come from verticalized cloud apps. Last mile solutions continue to be a key area of focus.  Those providers with business process expertise gain new channels to monetize vertical knowledge.  Expect an explosion of vertical apps by end of 2011.  More importantly, as the buying power shifts away from the IT towards the lines of businesses, highly verticalized solutions solving specific niche problems will have the greatest opportunities for market success.
  • Many legacy vendors might not make the transition to cloud and will be left behind. Few vendors, especially the legacy public ones, lack the financial where with all and investor stomachs to weather declining profit margins and lower average sales prices.  In addition, most vendors will not have the credibility to to shift and migrate existing users to newer platforms.  Legacy customers will most likely not migrate to new SaaS offerings due to lack of parity in functionality and inability to migrate existing customizations.
  • Social cloud emerges as a key component platform. The mature SaaS vendors that have optimized their “cloud before the cloud” platform, will likely add the social domain on top of their existing solutions to leverage the existing customer base and network effects.  Expect to see some shake-out in the social CRM category. A few existing SCRM vendors will deliver more and more solutions from the cloud and will further invest into their platforms to make it scalable, multi-tenant, and economically viable.  Vendors can expect to see some more VC investment, a possible IPO, and consolidation across all the sales channels.

More…

Trends: 2011 Cloud Computing Predictions For CIO’s And Business Technology Leaders

This blog was jointly posted by Chirag Mehta (Independent Blogger On Cloud Computing) and R “Ray” Wang (Principal Analyst and CEO, Constellation Research, Inc.)

Cloud Adopters Embrace Cloud For Both Innovation and Legacy Optimization

Once thought to be the answer to deployment options for just the SMB market, early cloud adopters proved otherwise.  Stereotypes about industry, size of company, geographies, and roles no longer hold back adoption.  Cloud adoption at all 4 layers of the cloud passed the tipping points in 2010 as a key business and technology strategy (see Figure 1).  For 2011, we can expect users to:

Figure 1. The Four Layers Of Cloud Computing

General Trends Reflect Natural Maturation Of The Cloud Market

  • Replace most new procurement with cloud strategies.  Preference in deployment options and lack of availability of innovative solutions in on-premises options will result in a huge shift for 2011.  Add capex swap out for opex, and most CFO’s will be singing the praises of Cloud along with the business and IT leaders.
  • Start with private clouds as a stepping stone to public clouds.  Conservative CIO’s looking to dip their toes into cloud computing will invest into private cloud while evaluating the public cloud at the same time.
  • Get real about security. Customers will move from “the cloud is not secured” to “how can security be achieved in the cloud?”.  They will start asking real questions about security.  The result — cloud vendors must further showcase various industry-specific compliance approaches.
  • Move to private clouds as a back up to public clouds.  Forecasts in cloud security breaches will call for partly cloudy cloud adoption.  Despite the woes in on-premises security and the march to the cloud, cyber attacks will force companies to mov e from public clouds to private clouds in 2011.  Concern about cyber gangs hacking into commercial and military systems leads to a worldwide trend that temporarily reduces public cloud adoption.  Hybrid models for apps in the public cloud and data in the private cloud emerge as users migrate from on-premises models.  Data integration and security rise to key competencies for 2011.  The bottom line – improved data security reliability will drive overall cloud adoption in the latter half of 2011.  Organizations will keep private clouds for both security and back up.

SaaS (Consumption Layer) Emerges As The Primary Access To Innovation

  • Begin the transition from best of breed purpose built solutions to cloud mega stacks. Customers will still need stacks to be augmented by best of breed purpose built solutions.  As with the early days of ERP and CRM, expect su ite consolidation to occur for SaaS apps vendors.   However, the vendors with both the best PaaS platform and ecosystem will win.  Mature cloud customers will bet on several emerging platforms and apps as well as content driven cloud platforms complemented by strong integration solutions.  Access to deep industry vertical solutions will play a key role in this migration.  The need to quickly innovate will hasten SaaS adoption.
  • Superior user experience and scale won’t be mutually exclusive. The customers, especially the line of businesses (LOBs) will demand superior user experience as well as the scale in the SaaS applications and the tools that they will use. Ease of use will be on top of the list while evaluating a SaaS application and will help the SaaS vendors win a deal against on-premise incumbents whose products may have more features but poor user experience.

More…

News Analysis: Salesforce.com Buys Heroku For $212M – Shows Commitment To Next Gen Apps

Acquisition of Heroku In Line With Platform Future of Salesforce.com

At Marc Benioff’s keynote, the CEO reiterated his commitment to 6 clouds: Sales, Service, Data (Jigsaw), Collaboration (Chatter), Cloud Platform (Force.com), and Database (database.com).  As Salesforce.com continues to diversify its portfolio into adjacent markets, the platform as a service (PaaS) component remains a key area of emphasis.  Without a strong developer ecosystem, the Cloud pioneer would relegate itself to a one-trick pony.  Consequently, the recent VMforce announcement targeted the Java community.  Now Salesforce.com seeks to win the hearts and minds of the Ruby ecosystem.  This platform as a service (PaaS) acquisition is significant because Heroku:

  • Delivers the full Ruby platform. As a multi-tenant platform and hosting environment, Heroku keeps it simple and hides the complexity of servers, infrastructure, slices and clusters from users.  Application code dynamically scales using a technology called the Dyno Grid.  Using compiled slugs, a self-contained and read only version of code, Heroku addresses scalability and high availability for developers in a contained and self-managed system..

    Point of View (POV):
    Next generation apps developers seek the simplicity of not having to manage servers and installs.  PaaS options accelerate time to market for new solution.  Cloud2 will require ultra fast elasticity and Heroku has proven this model out.
  • Serves the hot mobile and social apps market. With over 105,000 mobile and social cloud applications built on Heroku, Salesforce.com intends to provide the leading platform for next gen apps development.   Heroku delivers the backbone behind many of the new consumer tech innovations.

    POV:
    Future apps development and developers align more with the consumer tech world. Salesforce.com’s acquisition thrusts the cloud vendor into a new world of mobile and social apps.  If successful, Salesforce.com will attract the next generation of developers.
  • Aligns with the database.com acquisition. Heroku’s pricing model is based on dynos, a single web process running code and responding to http requests.  The more dynos used the more concurrency achieved.  As users consume code, they increase database usage through a portfolio of options (see Figure 1.).

    POV:
    database.com can fit neatly into the PaaS stack for Heroku users.  The pricing model could prove complimentary for database.com and other Salesforce.com users.

Figure 1. Heroku Offers A Wide Range Of Database Options

Source: Heroku

The Bottom Line: Salesforce.com Intent On Paving Its Future
Already in the Cloud, Salesforce.com sees its future aligned with mobile and social.  This move provides the significant infrastructure to win the hearts and minds of the next gen apps developer.  Unlike many of its enterprise software competitors, Salesforce.com realizes that the platform is key to its future and success.  If successful, this move will also help Salesforce.com extend its reach into the consumer tech side of applications.  While there are many benefits of PaaS, customers moving to Heroku should seek provisions in The Customer Bill of Rights: SaaS.

Your POV.

Do you think Salesforce.com can transform into a full PaaS?  Have the failures in APEX taught Salesforce.com the lessons learned for success in this new platform?  Please post or send on to rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org and we’ll keep your anonymity.

Related Resources And Links
20101207 PR Newswire – Salesforce.com Signs Definitive Agreement To Buy Heroku

20100429 SoftwareInsider – R “Ray” Wang “News Analysis: Salesforce.com and VMware Up The Ante In The Cloud Wars With VMforce”

Reprints

Reprints can be purchased through the Software Insider brand or Constellation Research, Inc.  To request official reprints in PDF format, please contact r@softwareinsider.org.

Disclosure

Although we work closely with many mega software vendors, we want you to trust us.  A full disclosure listing will be provided soon on the Constellation Research site.

Copyright © 2010 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

Research Report: Microsoft Partners – Before Adopting Azure, Understand the 12 Benefits And Risks

It’s All About The Cloud At WPC10

Attendees at this year’s Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2010 in Washington, D.C. already expect Windows Azure development to be a key theme throughout this annual pilgrimage.  Microsoft has made significant investments into the cloud.   Many executives from the Redmond, WA, software giant have publicly stated that 90% of its development will be focused on the Cloud by 2012.  Delivery of the Cloud begins with the Azure platform which includes three main offerings:

  1. Microsoft Windows Azure
  2. Microsoft SQL Azure (formerly SQL Services)
  3. Microsoft Windows Azure Platform: AppFabric (formerly .NET Services).

Therefore, Microsoft partners must determine their strategy based on what part of the cloud they plan to compete in and which Azure services to leverage.  As with any cloud platform, the four layers include infrastructure, orchestration, creation, and consumption (see Figure 1):

  • Infrastructure. At a minimum, Windows Azure provides the infrastructure as a service.  Data center investments and the related capital expense (capex) is replace with oeprational expenses (opex).  Most partners will take advantage of Azure at the infrastructure level or consider alternatives such as Amazon EC2 or even self provision hosting on partner servers and hardware.
  • Orchestration. Microsoft Windows Azure Platform: AppFabric delivers the key “middleware” layers.  AppFabric includes an enterprise service bus to connect across network and organizational boundaries.  AppFabric also delivers access control security for federated authorization.  Most partners will leverage these PaaS tools.  However, non-Microsoft tools could include advanced SaaS integration, complex event processing, business process management, and richer BI tools.  The Windows AppFabric July release now supports Adobe Flash and Microsoft SilverLight.
  • Creation. Most partners will build solutions via VisualStudio and Microsoft SQL Azure (formerly SQL Services).  Other creation tools could include Windows Phone7 and even Java.  Most partners expect to use the majority of tools from Microsoft and augment with third party solutions as needed.
  • Consumption. Here’s where partners will create value added solutions for sale to customers.  Partners must build applications that create market driven differentiators.  For most partners, the value added solutions in the consumption layer will provide the highest margin and return on investment (ROI).

.NET:.NET (tongue and cheek here) – Microsoft partners and developers can transfer existing skill sets and move to the cloud with ease, once Microsoft irons out the business model for partners on Azure.

Figure 1. Partners Must Determine Which Layer To Place Strategic Bets

screen-shot-2010-03-22-at-105927-pm

More…

News Analysis: Salesforce.com and VMware Up The Ante In The Cloud Wars With VMforce

VMWare and Salesforce.com Battle For The Hearts And Minds Of Cloud-Oriented Java Developers

On April 27th, 2010, Salesforce.com, [NYSE: CRM] and VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) formed VMforce, a strategic alliance to create a deployment environment for Java based apps in the cloud.  The Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering builds on Java, Spring, VMware vSphere, and Force.com.  Key themes in this announcement:

  • Growing the developer ecosystem. VMware and Salesforce.com realize that the key to growth will be their appeal to developers.  The VMforce offering courts 6 million enterprise Java developers and over 2 million using SpringSource’s Spring framework with an opportunity to build Cloud 2 applications.  VMware brings application management and orchestration tools via VMware vSphere.  Salesforce.com opens up its applications, Force.com database, Chatter collaboration, search, workflow, analytics and mobile platforms.

    Point of View (POV):
    By betting on Java and the Spring framework for this Cloud2 PaaS, both vendors gain immediate access to one of the largest developer communities in the world.  Salesforce.com developers no longer have to use the highly flexible, but very proprietary APEX code base to create Cloud2 apps.   Java developers can now reach the large base of Salesforce.com customers and use the Salesforce.com apps and Force.com.
  • Creating cloud efficiencies for Java development. VMforce brings global infrastructure, virtualization platform, orchestration and management technology, relational cloud database, development platform and collaboration services, application run time, development framework, and tooling to the cloud.  Organizations can build code in Java and integrate with apps in Salesforce.com without having to retrain existing resources.  Environments can scale as needed and take advantage of the massive economies of scale in the cloud.

    POV:
    As with all PaaS offerings, cost and time savings include not dealing with hardware procurement, pesky systems management software, configuration and tuning, and multiple dev, test, and production environment set up.  Developers can focus on business value not infrastructure.  What will they do with their free time not scaling up databases and app servers?

More…

Tuesday’s Tip: Understanding The Many Flavors of Cloud Computing and SaaS

Confusion Continues With Cloud Computing And SaaS Definitions

Coincidence or just brilliance must be in the air as three esteemed industry colleagues, Phil Wainewright, Michael Cote, and James Governor, have both decided to clarify definitions on SaaS and Cloud within a few days of each other.  In fact, this couldn’t be more timely as SaaS and Cloud enter into mainstream discussion with next gen CIO’s evaluating their apps strategies.  A few common misconceptions often include:

  • “That hosting thing is like SaaS”
  • “Cloud, SaaS, all the same, we don’t own anything”
  • “OnDemand is Cloud Computing”
  • “ASP, Hosting, SaaS seems all the same”
  • “It all costs the same so what does it matter to me?”
  • “Why should I care if its multi-tenant or not?
  • “What’s this private cloud versus public cloud?”

Cloud Computing Represents The New Delivery Model For Internet Based IT services

Traditional and Cloud based delivery models share 4 key parts (see Figure 1):

  1. Consumption – how users consume the apps and business processes
  2. Creation – what’s required to build apps and business processes
  3. Orchestration – how parts are integrated or pulled from an app server
  4. Infrastructure – where the core guts such as servers, storage, and networks reside

As the über category, Cloud Computing comprises of

  • Business Services and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – The traditional apps layer in the cloud includes software as a service apps, business services, and business processes on the server side.
  • Development-as-a-Service (DaaS) – Development tools take shape in the cloud as shared community tools, web based dev tools, and mashup based services.
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) – Middleware manifests in the cloud with app platforms, database, integration, and process orchestration.
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – The physical world goes virtual with servers, networks, storage, and systems management in the cloud.

Figure 1.  Traditional Delivery Compared To Cloud Based Delivery

screen-shot-2010-03-22-at-105927-pm

The Apps Layer In The Cloud Represents Many Flavors From Hosted To True SaaS

SaaS purists often challenge vendors on delivery models in the cloud at the apps layer (see Figure 2).  Often classified as OnDemand, there are 3 common approaches:

  1. Single Instance – (a.k.a. “On Demand”). Think traditional apps deployed one cusotmer per app or per server. Many vendors provide hosting capabilities. Customers don’t worry about the IT infrastructure and retain the flexibility to modify, customize, and in most cases choose when they want to change the code. All customers can use different versions of the software
  2. Multi Instance – (a.k.a. “Server Virtualized”). Think “VMware” like. Apps deployed into a shared-web hosting environment. A single instance copy of the app is configured and deployed into a web directory for each customer. Vendor benefit from easier to manage multi-instance environments. Customers don’t worry about the IT infrastructure and retain the flexibility to modify, customize, and in most cases choose when they want to change the code. All customers can use different versions of the software.
  3. Multi-tenant – (a.k.a. “True SaaS”). Apps in a multi-tenant deployments provide a single operating environment shared by multiple customers. Config files are created and deployed each time a customer request services. Customers don’t worry about the IT infrastructure and retain the flexibility to modify, configure but NOT customize the code. Customers usually receive upgrades at the same time. Everyone shares the same code.

Figure 2.  Different Strokes Of OnDemand For Different Folks

screen-shot-2010-03-22-at-112728-pm

The Bottom Line – Different Models Bring Varying Degrees Of Trade Offs In Cost Versus Flexibility

Keep in mind there are cases where one deployment option is more favorable than another. Just because you are multi-tenant SaaS doesn’t mean you are better. On the other hand, when vendors tout OnDemand as a SaaS offering, then the SaaS bigotry begins. Be on the look out as more vendor provide mix-mode offerings to support disconnected modes, SaaS and On-premise, Public and Private clouds, as well as other improvements in integration with stronger client side ESB’s. Expect many vendors to put their offerings into the Cloud as Cloud/SaaS moves beyond the mainstream for apps strategy.  Let’s take a look at a two decision criteria:

Scenario 1: From least expensive to most expensive to run for a vendor:

  1. True SaaS
  2. Server Virtualized
  3. Hosting

Why is this important? Let’s see, you choose a Hosted solution and the vendor’s costs to run the app goes up with each new customer as it has to manage the different environments. No matter how hard the vendor will try to “fit” everyone to standard configurations and deployments, that’s not always possible. Flexibility has a cost. In a “True Saas” solution, the cost to add an additional customer is minimal and each customer reduces the overall cost for everyone. Ultimately, a True SaaS deployment will have the lowest cost/user/month fee. What will you do 5 years into an Hosting scenario when you are locked in?

Scenario 2: From most customizable to least customizable for a customer:

  1. Hosting
  2. Server Virtualized
  3. True SaaS

Why is this important? Your may have specific needs in an area where the SaaS vendor has not provided the deepest level of configurations. You can’t just go in and modify the code unless everyone else wants it or the vendor’s has it on the roadmap. The cost of comformity is the lack of flexibility. What will you do 5 years into a True SaaS scenario when you are locked in and the vendor won’t add the feature or functionality you need?

Your POV

What’s your view on SaaS vs Cloud?  Does this help clarify the definitions?  Are you looking at private, public, or hybrid cloud options?  Add your comments to the discussion or send on to rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwaresinsider dot org and we’ll keep your anonymity.

Please let us know if you need help with your SaaS/Cloud strategies.  Here’s how we can help:

  • Crafting your next gen apps strategy
  • Short listing and vendor selection
  • Contract negotiations support
  • Market evaluation

Related resources and links

Take the new and improved survey on 3rd party maintenance

20100322 Monkchips – James Governor “Defining Cloud is Simple. Get Over It. The Burger”

20100319 ZD Net: Software as Services – Phil Wainewright “Is SaaS the Same as Cloud”

Copyright © 2010 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

Tuesday’s Tip: 10 Cloud and SaaS Apps Strategies For 2010

Keep In Mind Basic Rules Still Apply Regardless Of Deployment Option

The proliferation of SaaS solutions provides organizations with a myriad of sorely needed point and disruptive solutions.  Good news – business users can rapidly procure and deploy, while innovating with minimal budget and IT team constraints.  Bad news – users must depend more on their SLA guarantees and deal with a potential integration nightmare of hundreds if not thousands of potential SaaS apps.  Though the 7 key benefits of SaaS outweigh most downside risks, organizations must design their SaaS apps strategies with the same rigor as any apps strategy.  Just because deployment options have changed, this does not mean basic apps strategy is thrown out the window.  Concepts such as SOA, business process orchestration, and enterprise architecture will be more important than ever.  Here are 10 strategies to consider as organizations take SaaS mainstream:

  1. Begin with the business process and desired business value. Understand the desired business value and outcome.  Map back the key performance indicators (KPI’s) to the business processes. Identify what processes will be covered by the SaaS solution.  Determine overlaps and hand-offs between on-premise and SaaS to SaaS that are required to measure the desired KPI’s.
  2. Engage stakeholders early and often. Today’s apps strategies must constantly evolve. Change is happening so fast that line of business leads and IT leaders must collaborate in real time.  The result – an ever changing list of requirements.  While SaaS allows business leaders to make go-it-alone decisions, success will require close collaboration on short term and long term requirements, dependencies, and strategy.
  3. Bet on future suites, SaaS platforms or PaaS (Platform-as-a-service). Winners and losers will emerge in this wave of Cloud computing.  Vendors such as Netsuite, Workday, Zoho, Epicor, and SAP have built or will be building suites.  They provide safe bets as more and more functionality will be rolled into their offerings. Concurrently, organizations should also choose vendors who bring a vibrant and rich ecosystem to the table because those vendors will win in the market.  Salesforce.com and NetSuite already provide users with a platform to build on apps.  Other vendors such as as Google Apps Engine, Microsoft Azure, IBM, and Zoho provide rich developer communities.  Partner and customers will drive innovation which is why platform adoption (i.e. today’s middleware) makes a difference.
  4. Augment with best of breeds, but avoid best of breed hell. No one platform can provide every solution, but choose wisely.  Best of breeds provide deep vertical capabilities and rich last mile solutions.  However, no one wants to manage hundreds of vendor relationships.  Create frameworks that allow business users to work with vendors which support open standards, integrate well with your existing integration strategies, and follow the bill of rights.   Reduction in the number of vendors will become a priority in 2010 going on into 2011.
  5. Assume hybrid will be the rule not the exception. Prepare for hybrid deployments throughout the decade.  Despite the benefits of SaaS and broad adoption in 2010, legacy apps will not go away.  Just count the number of mainframe and client-server apps still in use today.  Many on-premise apps will take time to migrate to SaaS. In some cases, legal requirements will prevent data from being stored off-site.  Software plus services offerings from companies such as Infor, Lawson, Microsoft Dynamics, and SAP may become the norm in 2010 as companies seek private and public cloud solutions.
  6. Design with good architecture. Keep your enterprise architects (EA’s) or hire some more.  Inevitably, more and more SaaS solutions will enter the organization.  EA’s will proactively plan for new scenarios and account for future business requirements.  Organizations should keep some rigor in terms of standards for solution adoption while accounting for the need to rapidly innovate.  Business leaders will need some frameworks on which solutions to adopt.
  7. Choose the right integration strategy for the right time. SaaS integration strategies will evolve based on the organization’s SaaS adoption maturity.  The first set of solutions will probably require point to point integration of data.  Over time, users often migrate to centralized integration services that account for process.  Some will go full enterprise service bus (ESB) and look at business process orchestration as well.  Consider solutions from CastIron, Boomi, Pervasive Software, Informatica, and SnapLogic.  Going forward customer data integration and master data management will be more important than ever.
  8. Minimize long-term storage costs with archiving. Storage represents a significant long term SaaS cost.  Savvy clients can reduce the cost of SaaS storage with a myriad of technologies such as EMC, IBM Optim, and RainStor.  By archiving, organizations will experience faster transaction times, maintain compliance, and reduce storage fees.
  9. Hedge risk with SaaS escrows. Most SaaS vendors will require 5 to 7 years to achieve profitability.  End users often demand software escrows in the on-premise world when they are concerned about vendor viability, takeover threats, and other related breaches to performance or service level agreements.  Software escrows vendors serve as the trusted third party independent organization which holds a copy of the software code.  This often includes user data, source code, documentation and any application executables. SaaS escrows work in a similar way.  Vendors such as EscrowTech, InnovaSafe, Iron Mountain, NCC Group. and OpSource can provide such services.
  10. Protect your rights. Client – vendor relationships in SaaS are perpetual.  Organizations have one shot to get the contract right and begin the relationship with the right tenor.  Apply best practices from The Customer Bill of Rights: SaaS. Work with vendors to find the right balance in approach.

The Bottom Line For Customers – Build Frameworks That Support Easy Line Of Business Adoption

The broad adoption and trajectory of SaaS solutions requires organizations to rapidly replace edicts and 5 year plans with guidelines and policy frameworks.  The goal – enable anyone in the organization to procure a SaaS solution that meets key guidelines and standards.  The result – flexibility, security, and scalability that allows solutions to be used on-demand and in concert with existing applications.

Your POV.

As you work out your SaaS apps strategies, drop us a line and let us know how you are deploying, what challenges you’ve faced, and what successes have you achieved.  We’re happy to weigh in.  Feel free to post your comments here or send me an email at rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org.

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