Software as a service (SaaS) is a catalyst for business change and the alignment of IT and business, but will place greater demands on IT, local cloud providers say.
A panel comprised of SV Technology managing director Eric Svetcov, Diversity director Ben Kepes, OneNet CEO Michael Snowden and Salesforce.com country manager Aden Forrest, discussed the implications of the technology at a recent Cloud Computing Summit in Auckland.
“We’re looking at massive change for business,” says Kepes. “The ability to react quickly is going to place different demands on IT. I think IT is going to become more aligned with the business itself.”
Forrest agrees cloud computing will be a key driver for business change. “It’s the realisation that we can’t wait as we did in the late 1990s to roll these large technology programmes out, we have to deliver today because tomorrow could be completely different.”
Forrest says after heavy investment in building out cloud technologies in recent years, an “end to end process” is becoming a reality.
“We have a dozen organisations that are looking at using the Force.com platform as a gateway into cloud based services. What we’re seeing in the traditional enterprise resource planning space is that the front end access point is becoming more cloud based.
“People have invested heavily over the last six years in building out processes that have been supported by the various technologies. What we’ve seen in the last six months is the end to end process becoming a reality in bringing both on premise and cloud-based solutions together to support the business.”
Cloud computing can fast track the time it takes for organisations to see value from their technology, he says.
“The big thing I see happening in the next 12 months will be organisations stepping on to local and international offerings - that can provide greater delivery and less risk to their users.”
Forrest adds SaaS should find its way into larger organisations.
“From a web service perspective, a lot of organisations are running reasonably old and trusted ERP systems. Getting data from one system to another can be reasonably challenging. The new SaaS offerings create great flexibility.”