Posts Tagged 'saas sprawl'

From SaaS Spree to SaaS Sprawl to SaaS Sanity?

I wrote earlier in the week that cloud integration suddenly seems cool. A few articles this week  reminded me that it’s not just about cloud integration, it’s about cloud data management. And in many cases, it’s about the need for Cloud Master Data Management.

  • Cloud Services Becoming Foundational: “Through 2016, a hybrid model (cloud and captive systems) will become the platform of choice, a transitional platform en route to a future dominated by public and private clouds. By 2016, 75 percent or more of new enterprise spending will be cloud-based or hybrid according to Saugatuck’s research.”
  • Geoffrey Moore: The Next Decade Will Be About Systems of Engagement: “Moore forecasts the emergence of an enterprise-focused tech industry that will offer workplace versions of consumer technologies that people actually will like to use. He imagines there will be enterprise versions of Facebook, Facetime, Twitter, etc.”
  • And bringing it back to Cloud Master Data Management, Mike Vizard wrote about the concept of “Two-Tier MDM” noting:  “as integration issues become more pressing in the cloud, IT organizations are once again going to discover many of the same MDM issues that have plagued their internal operations for so many years — only this time it will involve a lot more applications that they have less control over than ever.”

It seems we have we gone from a “SaaS spree” toSaaS sprawl” and now finally to “SaaS sanity”?

Here are three brief videos that explain at a high-level how the key capabilities of a cloud master data management (MDM) solution can help deliver SaaS sanity:

 

The Cloud is Now Mainstream

This was my favorite observation in Judy Ko’s “Learnings And Surprises From Informatica World.”  As readers of this blog know, Informatica recently hosted our annual user conference and the topic of cloud computing and the importance of the right data integration strategy to cloud success was front and center. Here is what Judy observed as it relates to cloud computing:

“Cloud is now mainstream (whether you like it or not.)  This one was funny.  Different people and companies fell along a wide spectrum.  At one end, there were a good number of IT folks who said their company did not use the cloud at all, often due to security and governance concerns.  (I suspect that in many cases, the business is using some cloud applications—but IT may not know it yet.)  And those IT folks thought that cloud was just not “real” yet.  Then there were a good chunk of folks in the middle.  They were IT folks who were dealing with “SaaS sprawl”—the fact that the business had gone out and started using a bunch of different cloud/software-as-a-service applications, and IT was now trying to get control of the mess.  In these cases, the sprawl was yet another source of data fragmentation in the enterprise.”

Be sure to read the entire post here.

Integration: The Cure for SaaS Sprawl?

There’s a good cloud data integration overview on the Processor website this week that picks up on the challenges of “SaaS sprawl.”  The article provides IT managers an overview of the data management challenges they should consider before migrating business applications to SaaS. Specifically:

  • The biggest problems when trying to incorporate internal data sources into an online application provider; what sorts of problems should IT managers expect?
  • Best practices or technology services that can keep data in cloud or SaaS apps synchronized with internal systems
  • Methods for seamlessly pulling data from internal data sources into cloud apps
  • Issues when moving data between internal and external repositories, such as  synchronization complexities or data quality concerns (when moving from one format or schema to another).
  • Contingencies for migrating data to or from one cloud provider to another; standards and technologies that can facilitate data portability

Loraine Lawson also wrote about the article in this post: Is SaaS/Cloud Adoption too Easy?

Do SaaS Applications Fundamentally Change the Role of IT?

I was reading an interesting post on the Force Monkey blog this weekend about the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2010 Beta and the challenge it may (or may not) represent to both Salesforce.com and traditional IT departments:  Will the Upcoming Dynamics CRM 2011 Beta Challenge Salesforce? While the post points out both opportunities and challenges for Microsoft (nice job JP!), I thought the LinkedIn group comments from Cheral Stewart (another guru CRM administrator) about the role of IT when it comes to implementing and managing software as a service applications and platforms were extremely interesting:

“Having been a salesforce.com Administrator for over 5 years with a detour to MS CRM 3.0 in the middle, I have a hard time believing MS will be able to challenge salesforce.com. The inherent difference that I see is Microsoft is still too concerned with maintaining control of the CRM through IT Departments and IT consultants. This slows innovation, internal busines change, and most strikingly, empowerment of the business Users.
“The reason so many business users/departments now pay for their salesforce.com licenses and the support staff is that they want to quickly respond to changing business climate. They do not want to go through 2-4 weeks of CABs, written requests, funding allocation and final review while waiting to have the dropdown choices in one field change.
“IT Departments that are focused on quickly managed innovation, not just control, do not find their business users purchasing SaaS programs like salesforce.com outside of IT. The innovative IT Department welcomes the SaaS programs and seeks full integration between all the information systems to materialize the competitive advantage CRM offers.”

Is it me or did Cheral just speak on behalf of all CRM / SaaS administrators? If IT departments focus less on control and more on “managed innovation” and “full integration” will SaaS application ROI be maximized?

And if they don’t, is a cloud data disaster inevitable?


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