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Saas Lifecycle Management (Part 3): Outlook for Integration

By Daniel Amor, EMEA Lead for Application Modernisation, Hewlett Packard Company

 

puzzle.jpgThis is the last in a three-part blog series on SaaS Lifecycle Management. Software as a Service (SaaS) is a hot topic for most organisations, but only a few think about its impact. The result can be a costly adventure that falls short of the benefits promised. Instead, it can create additional complexity. This blog series looks at the challenges, approaches and integration aspects for getting the most out of SaaS solutions.

 

The previous blogs in this series looked at the challenges for introducing SaaS and approaches for implementing and supporting SaaS. Many of these actions are necessary as there is no standard for SaaS. This means every vendor has its own methodology, its own SLAs, pricing models and interface standards. As long as there is no standardization across vendors, IT departments will have a lot of work to integrate the various services into a seamless business transaction for the enterprise. There are seven key areas of SaaS standard requirements that IT must address:

  1. Data Governance
  2. Security
  3. Interoperability
  4. Availability
  5. Privacy
  6. Performance
  7. Compliance

 

Once these areas have been harmonised across the SaaS provider’s network, it will become much easier for enterprises to choose SaaS components and link them to others or even replace a SaaS component with a competitor’s offering.

 

Since a SaaS solution requires very little upfront investment, it looks financially compelling and appears to break the cycle of having to do major upgrades every few years. While this may sound appealing, it still requires resources from the enterprise to manage the on-going technology and application updates. This is especially true in enterprise-grade solutions where there is a tight integration between people, processes, information, and related user hardware (e.g. mobile devices). This is usually not accounted for in the original SaaS business plan.

 

When the SaaS vendor is ready to upgrade their service, the enterprise must be willing to upgrade all the interfacing services, invest in new user training, and update the associated business processes and reporting. If enterprises are not willing to upgrade, the SaaS vendors will eventually need to raise their prices to keep multiple versions of the same interface managed.

 

The alternative is not much more appealing: Enterprises continue to be resource- and budget-constrained and therefore take a reactive approach to upgrading infrastructure when they ultimately must due to end-of-life (EOL). The only way to mitigate against either of these challenges is to be proactive with a lifecycle management process.

 

SaaS will play a more important role going forward, but we will need to work on standardisation to build better business plans that include all aspects of the transition towards SaaS and the management of it.

 

A new category of service providers will arise that specialises in harmonisation of SaaS providers and will act as a broker for those organisations who cannot or do not want to do these kind of services themselves. One way or another it will need to be done, otherwise SaaS will become just another brick in the legacy landscape.

 

HP provides most of its software products as SaaS components, which you also try out on our homepage.

 

Previous blogs by Danny Amor

Related Links

About the author

 

danielamor2.jpgDaniel Amor, EMEA Lead for Application Modernisation, Hewlett Packard Company

Daniel’s expertise includes Applications Modernisation (AMod), Cloud, Portals, Web Apps and the SOA domain. He has designed and led the implementation of large-scale, complex applications-related projects with clients throughout Europe. Daniel has more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry and is the author of six books and numerous articles in European and US-based publications on IT change. More information about Daniel can be found at http://www.hp.com/go/danielamor.

 

Comments
pitter(anon) | ‎10-08-2013 08:19 AM

good info!

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About the Author
Daniel Amor (EMEA, AMOD, Cloud, Portals, Web Apps and SOA domain expert): Daniel has designed, won, led and delivered large-scale, complex a...


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