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John Edwards

How Not to Mess Up a SaaS Deployment

John Edwards
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Cassimir Medford
Cassimir Medford
4/24/2012 12:37:07 PM
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Re: Care is Critical
Companies can afford to be deliberate with SaaS adoption. There is not a lot of external pressure on most companies to adopt SaaS. It is not like a SaaS app is fundamentally different to its corresponding legacy app. Any initial flexibility gains could be consumed by the cost of adjustment - the SaaS learning curve. There may be some internal pressure on IT but even that can be managed, I think. So companies can afford to take their time.

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jagibbons
jagibbons
4/23/2012 2:45:31 PM
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Governance and Project Management
Both are critical before any manager can evaluate possible SaaS solutions on the merits of meeting business needs. There is no substitution for learning how the business function works before it can be considered for moving to a SaaS solution. Likewise, the migration project is complex with a lot of players and a lot of potential risk. While there are enormous benefits, the move cannot be made lightly.

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jagibbons
jagibbons
4/23/2012 2:41:35 PM
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Platinum
Re: Care is Critical
I suspect, and even fall into the trap myself sometimes, that many IT managers believe they know what their true costs are. It takes more than a lunch and doodles on a napkin to evaluate the cost and benefits of moving to a SaaS solution versus in-house apps. That can be one of the more difficult steps to making that move.

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legalcio
legalcio
4/23/2012 2:09:00 PM
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Re: Care is Critical
Start with a good lawyer.  Full disclosure; I work for a bunch of 'em.  But if you don't fully understand elements of the contract, and you can't get adequate explanations from your sales rep, then run it by your corporate counsel.  Even if you are a small IT shop in a small company, you need access to good legal advice.

Once the contract is signed, don't rush implementation.  You need to market the change to your users and get them engaged.  Factor in training costs to your budget and push for making training mandatory.  We spent over three months of marketing and training before we moved all our document management to a Saas solution.  Day one was the easiest implementation I've ever gone through.

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JohnEdwards
JohnEdwards
4/23/2012 1:55:42 PM
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Silver
Re: Care is Critical
Never follow a trend simply to look like an innovator or because other organizations are doing it. Do your homework. Understand the benefits and the pitfalls. Even with a technology like SaaS, which has many obvious benefits, you need to know which provider offers the best solution and the best deal. You can't learn that without doing some serious research.

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William Terdoslavich
William Terdoslavich
4/23/2012 12:31:16 PM
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Re: Care is Critical
Skeptical double-checking is necessary to keep SaaS from turning into another industry buzz word. And that skepticism is warranted. The SaaS provider becomes the keeper of your data after the contract is signed. It is probably one of the most important contracts you will ever sign for your business, so know what you are signing. 

One constant theme that has emerged from reading this site for the past month is the need to sharpen your pencil and know what your IT operation costs, then compare it to the SaaS solution. Cost savings may not be as obvious as comparing three-year costs of in-house and outsourced IT solutions. You have to look at the resources freed by the SaaS contract and how they can be better employed within the enterprise. 

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Cassimir Medford
Cassimir Medford
4/23/2012 11:48:33 AM
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Care is Critical
Good advice John. Adopting SaaS is a big step, particularly if it's the company's first foray into SaaS. It is not like buying a new software package. There is an element of the unknown that can keep IT managers up at night, so care is critical.

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