“There was a time when every household, town, farm or village had its own water well. Today, shared public utilities give us access to clean water by simply turning on the tap; cloud computing works in a similar fashion. Just like water from the tap in your kitchen, cloud computing services can be turned on or off quickly as needed. Like at the water company, there is a team of dedicated professionals making sure the service provided is safe, secure and available on a 24/7 basis. When the tap isn’t on, not only are you saving water, but you aren’t paying for resources you don’t currently need.” Vivek Kundra
The great thing about cloud software is it has given organisations the ability to move to software which can be accessed anywhere at anytime and there is an ability to scale up & scale down when necessary.
However, if you are thinking about purchasing Cloud Software SaaS (Software as a Service) make sure you consider the following:
- is it financially viable, how much do the licenses cost and what are the ongoing costs?
- think about the necessary end to end business processes not just the cloud software package in isolation, as the end-to-end business processes will identify the data integration required for efficient customer workflow.
- does the software perform your business processes? What happens if the vendor changes the software once you have purchased it, can you modify your business practices or are you constrained by external requirements?
- if you have to configure or customise the software will the vendor maintain this or will this become an expensive exercise once they have locked you in?
- privacy, security, licensing, SLA’s, incident management, single sign-on, identity management, data migration etc.
- can the vendor do what they say they can do? What is the support capability, can they demonstrate a mature software development and testing processes, are they financially viable etc. What is your back out plan if things don’t work?
- do you have trade secrets in your business processes that you don’t want the vendor giving to your competitors?
If you can clearly answer these questions before you purchase cloud software you are likely to enjoy the potential benefits of digital revolution. Engaging a reputable business analysis service can also assist you identify the pitfalls before they hit your bottom line.