Friday, 8 June 2012

No Custom Code, No Customization, No Requirements. And No Integration

The title comes from a conversation between Ron Tolido and me in which we perused the joys and challenges of SaaS. Ron has a very sharp mind and an even sharper tongue, although he somehow magically manages to give people the idea of adressing them in their comfort zone - I never said I was done learning

Ron still works for Capgemini although he's not the lipservice-paying kind of guy, I freely float in space. I'll jot down my thoughts on what SaaS means to the world - read: IT vendors and system integrators - and of course am very interested to see what he has to say about the same

System Integrators aren't too worried about Cloud. IaaS is about utility infrastructure, not much money to lose or gain there, and PaaS is about operating system platforms - same-ish feelings there.
What is the big differentiator? SaaS - because that hits the application level and comes close to the business logic. Business logic = Business whatever, so that does get the attention of old people in legacy-oriented companies (not saying Capgemini qualifies as one of those, of course)

Let me clearly explain the SaaS business to you, as opposed to legacy IT: you don't need to know anything about either, although it sure helps

Houses. You all live in one I hope? Appartments and skyscrapers count too.
We all want to live in a unique house, it seems, I have an idea why but that's not within scope for this post.
There are a few ways to accomplish this

  1. Destruct house, completely. Build new one on same-ish spot
  2. Leave outer skeleton intact, go berserk
  3. Leave house as it is, go wild on inner chambers / rooms
  4. Leave as is, paint walls or change wallpaper
  5. Build house from scratch

In fact, these are the stages IT has gone through in the last few decades. In reverse order.
ERP has taken the 1. approach. I could make bad jokes by comparing it to more humanly known historical events, but I won't. The disruptiveness is clear

I usually turn to decision makers in a personal way: if this were your money, how would you spend it? I never get the same answer as the company's one - yet...

ERP is about completely tearing down the house and building a new one - a steep investment that pins you down for decades.
SaaS promises to have you build your house from scratch, with standardised components - yet the difference between business A and business B is that they do the same business, but allow different exceptions

Will SaaS straitjacket enterprises? For sure. Will it numb them and put an end to their ever-changing flow of requirements? Ha - not in my world.
So where do they go? To their suppliers, of course - that will never change. I see on-premise and off-premise everywhere in the very near future, and the only thing that is standing in between is Integration. I think I've given you more than enough insights into how to do this via my post and eBook, but if you're stuck, don't hesitate to contact me

The end to Requirements? If that were to be the day, it'd probably be called Judgment Day

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