Great kickoff today of the Enterprise SaaS Working Group, sponsored by Conformity. With Scott Bils (Conformity), Peter Coffee (Salesforce.com), Tom Fisher (SuccessFactors), Steve Coplan (451 Group), Doug Harr (Ingres), Scott Carruth (Initiate), and Michael Amend (Dell) as panelists, of course we ran out of time long before we were able to explore all of the questions asked of the panel.
So we thought we’d continue the conversation here– below is Appirio’s take on the issues raised in today’s webinar (if you missed it, feel free to watch here). Looking forward to your feedback!
What will it take for SaaS and cloud apps to become ‘mainstream’ in the enterprise?
We think about enterprise adoption of the cloud in 3 layers–-Software, platform, and infrastructure as a service. SaaS apps are already “mainstream” in many enterprises, as are pilots of custom applications built on cloud platforms like Force.com, and burst and test / development on cloud infrastructure like Amazon. That’s the first column in this diagram:
Now, one common pattern of adoption we see is enterprises who do a point SaaS implementation, and see it come in on time and under budget, with off the charts usage. This causes the CIO to ask “what else can I do with this platform?” This results in the migration of more and more custom applications– that’s a big part of the activity we see today. That’s the second column.
Where is this heading? Well, our perspective is that over the next 5 years you’ll see even the largest enterprises running the majority of their IT infrastructure in the cloud. That’s how we run our business at Appirio– no servers– and we want to help other companies do the same thing. We call it cloudsourcing– where cloud computing meets outsourcing.
What’s holding that back? We highlight 3 things that are missing. The first is a strategy and roadmap– a business-case-driven answer to “what do I do next”. The second are solutions to connect and extend cloud platforms– making the cloud easier to consume. Third is a new type of partner for enterprise IT. Traditional partners have too much to lose in the transition, and their core skill set is irrelevant: it doesn’t matter how good you are at managing or working with a server farm anymore.
PaaS vs SaaS: What will be the preferred model in the future for how cloud apps will be delivered/consumed in the enterprise?
PaaS is as disruptive to standalone SaaS as SaaS has been to traditional on-premise software. For example, Appirio has built a solution for professional service firms on Force.com that is winning customers from PSA vendors that have been building out their own SaaS stack for 10 years. It’s not that we’re smarter– its just that 100% of our R&D is targeted to the specific needs of our customers. Force.com’s R&D team is doing the mobility, the reporting, the analytics, etc. Read more at “Now that’s a big PaaS market”
- We’ve helped Japan Post manage 150M customer relationships using Salesforce.com
- We’ve helped a public agency in Japan using Force.com and Google AppEngine together to send a hundred million workflow-generated emails a day
- We’ve helped Starbucks Pledge 5 use Force.com Sites to match a half million volunteer opportunities on Obama’s inauguration day
- We’ve helped a 5000 person consulting team crunch their timecards in realtime to forecast revenue and utilization by region, practice and group
There are 2 words that are holding back the adoption of cloud computing in the enterprise: “CAN’T” and “OR.” The first is an assumption that something can’t be done on the cloud, the second is an assumption that you need to choose between cloud solutions and on-premise solutions. Both are false.