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Moving To SaaS


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Presentation at Interop Las Vegas 2008 on the pitfalls of moving to software-as-a-service

Published in: Technology, Business
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Moving To SaaS

  1. MOVING TO SAAS <ul><li>Best practices and pitfalls </li></ul>
  2. Agenda <ul><li>The move to SaaS </li></ul><ul><li>Pitfalls and opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>10 awkward questions </li></ul><ul><li>Why things bite back </li></ul>
  3. This man is better at your job than you are.
  4. Others have resisted change.
  5. A history lesson.
  6. 1890: Factories near rivers.
  7. 1890: Factories near rivers.
  8. 1900: Electrical generators.
  9. In just ten years…
  10. 1910: Electricity as a utility.
  11. 1920: All about the appliances.
  12. “ I’m in oven technology.”
  15. Today’s electricity <ul><li>Relatively few options </li></ul><ul><ul><li>110V or 220V </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AC/DC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Portable or wired </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ubiquitous, taken for granted </li></ul>
  16. Everything old is new again. =
  24. 2010: Utility computing.
  25. Yes, this is going to happen faster than you expect.
  29. Why Amazon is better than you. (Werner Vogels at NGN’07)
  30. Buy 10,000 computers at a time.
  31. Spread load around the world, throughout the day, across the year.
  32. Get HA and DR for free.
  33. Obsessed with making IT productive.
  34. Consumption-based cost tracking built in.
  35. Developers devoted to building dynamic capacity management tools.
  36. GOOG even builds its own switches!
  37. (Oh, and Google’s hosted services are free. )
  38. Seriously.
  39. “ I’ve got one word for you, boy. Just one word.”
  40. Appliances. =
  41. The appliance of computing is SaaS.
  42. The evolution of computing (with apologies to Forrester) ISP 1.0 Access to the Internet Cloud Your apps on their dynamic infrastructure SaaS Your users on their Internet app BPaaS Your process in their language ISP 2.0 Access to a server on the Internet Colo Your servers in their cages ASP Your data on their apps on their servers
  43. A spectrum of control Cloud Your apps on their dynamic infrastructure SaaS Your users on their Internet app BPaaS Your process in their language Maximum control: The machine is your playground Do whatever Minimum control: Your data in their forms Use their dropdowns Medium control: Your business logic on their platforms Use their coding language
  44. Consider Salesforce’s APEX platform
  46. Focusing on SaaS <ul><li>What’s different? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do we switch? </li></ul><ul><li>What stops us? </li></ul><ul><li>What best practices are there? </li></ul>SaaS Your users on their Internet app
  47. So why do we switch?
  48. Much better operational effectiveness <ul><li>SaaS fixes this </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deliver application capacity as needed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure efficient use of assets </li></ul></ul>Deliver apps & services quickly Efficient, cost-effective
  49. Lower total cost of ownership <ul><li>On-demand TCO less than half that of physical operations (Yankee) </li></ul><ul><li>Companies use just 16% of the software they buy (2005 IDC survey) </li></ul>
  50. They already passed the audit <ul><li>Vertically-focused SaaS amortizes legal compliance across customers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HIPPA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OSHA </li></ul></ul>
  51. We can’t do what they can <ul><li>Native advantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Forms vs. Excel </li></ul></ul>
  52. They benefit from network effects <ul><li>Development community, extensibility, partners </li></ul>
  53. We can sharpen strategic focus <ul><li>Outsource what’s not core </li></ul><ul><li>IT isn’t strategic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Productivity is </li></ul></ul>
  54. What you don’t need to worry about <ul><li>Defining the infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Scaling </li></ul><ul><li>Consumption billing </li></ul><ul><li>Resiliency </li></ul><ul><li>Contractual obligations </li></ul><ul><li>Installation </li></ul>Already done! Virtual & dynamic Built in On their way out Already there Byproduct of clustering
  56. Pricing pitfall <ul><li>People claim it’s too expensive after all. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure finance is involved early </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accounted for differently </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Beware the myth of amortization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know the true costs of server ownership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include all the costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Helpdesk, DR, storage, upgrades, staffing, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  57. Customization pitfall <ul><li>Everyone needs “just this one little change.” </li></ul><ul><li>You won’t spend a lot of time stacking machines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But you will be showing business users how to customize the app </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expect lots of trial-and-error tweaking </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Try to define business needs up front </li></ul><ul><li>Identify a champion within each business unit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Otherwise, they’ll find a reason to claim the new app doesn’t meet their needs </li></ul></ul>
  59. Visibility pitfall <ul><li>You can’t see anything about your users. </li></ul><ul><li>Demand reports from your provider </li></ul><ul><li>Consider how to analyze productivity, bad behavior </li></ul>
  60. Helpdesk pitfall <ul><li>Escalation and support paths unclear. </li></ul><ul><li>Define who handles what problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decide how to tell who’s to blame </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do you know if it’s you or them? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ensure you have named contacts at the provider </li></ul><ul><li>Set response targets and escalation paths </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How fast can you get them to escalate it? </li></ul></ul>
  61. Traffic & usage pitfall <ul><li>The new application significantly changes load on the network, undermining other systems. </li></ul><ul><li>Model the network with outbound traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Expect firewall changes </li></ul><ul><li>Consider time-of-day usage changes </li></ul><ul><li>Upgrade bandwidth early </li></ul>
  62. Mobility pitfall <ul><li>With widely available web UI, everyone expects it to work anywhere on any device. </li></ul><ul><li>Know what devices you support </li></ul><ul><li>Decide how to log access </li></ul><ul><li>Someone will use an iPhone </li></ul>
  63. Legislation pitfall <ul><li>Your intellectual property isn’t yours any more. </li></ul><ul><li>You will use APIs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure what you build is your property </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider GPL3 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Security audits will happen </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure you’re allowed to conduct them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the provider compelled to help? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you need code inspection? </li></ul></ul>
  64. Performance/availability pitfall <ul><li>The application is slow, or not reliable. </li></ul><ul><li>Agree on performance and availability SLAs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For whom ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What function ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From where ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From what component ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will have what performance ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And what availability ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In what timeframe ? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Clearly state your recourses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Using the $100/mo. subscription.” </li></ul></ul>“ Bank tellers will be able to log in from North American branches with a host latency of under 3 seconds , and will have 99.95% availability during business hours ”
  66. Accounts and SSO pitfall <ul><li>Activation & termination. </li></ul><ul><li>Complexity increases with multiple providers </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure there’s a roadmap for SSO </li></ul>
  67. Data I/O pitfall <ul><li>If you can’t get your data, you can’t migrate. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lose important bargaining chip </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Grab all data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All records </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All relations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All metadata </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In a standardized format </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Several times a year </li></ul></ul>
  68. Firehose pitfall <ul><li>Your users are overwhelmed and panic. </li></ul><ul><li>Decide what extensions are most popular </li></ul><ul><li>Roll them out over time to your organization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reminds them why you went SaaS </li></ul></ul>
  71. Outsourcing pitfall <ul><li>Failure to commit to the change in focus leaves you supporting half a process. </li></ul><ul><li>Once part of a process is gone, how much can you shed? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical I/O (mailing, shipping) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Third-party systems (payment, banking, order entry) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Telephony and messaging (VOIP, dialing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get executive and financial sponsorship for this! </li></ul></ul>
  72. Upgrade pitfall <ul><li>When the SaaS upgrades, you’re dragged along. </li></ul><ul><li>Get good warning about upgrades </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure training is part of support agreement </li></ul><ul><li>If possible, upgrade when you want to </li></ul>
  73. Extensibility pitfall <ul><li>The app isn’t quite right after all. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure you can extend it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>With your own code and their APIs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In their development environment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can you attach new fields to every data structure? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you develop to web services? </li></ul>
  74. Cultural pitfall #1 <ul><li>Organization doesn’t embrace the new app. </li></ul><ul><li>IT is the biggest holdout </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Built on a “plan, procure, provision” mindset </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who cares about this process? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Facilities, storage, monitoring, capacity planning, finance, networking </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Move it or lose it </li></ul><ul><li>Show IT how it retains employment, usefulness by embracing SaaS as a new platform </li></ul>
  75. Cultural pitfall #2 <ul><li>Executives get post-purchase regret. </li></ul><ul><li>Beware the HIPPO problem </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HIghest Paid Person’s Opinion </li></ul></ul>
  76. Cultural pitfall #3 <ul><li>You’re already reliant on SaaS without knowing it. </li></ul><ul><li>Developers already doing it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No longer ask for a server </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider Quickbase </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Line of Business went around you </li></ul><ul><li>Bring it back into the fold without looking defensive </li></ul>
  77. Chris: <ul><li>You’ve got a process you didn’t know about </li></ul><ul><li>Match your business operation to the SaaS provider through trial and error </li></ul><ul><li>Find out where the “hidden process” that people use is lurking </li></ul>
  78. Ten nasty questions to ask. (Or, how to get a better price from your SaaS provider.)
  79. Can I get all my data from you?
  80. Is the code I write to customize it portable?
  81. Can you tell me where my servers are?
  82. Is the app legally usable from anywhere in the world?
  83. What kinds of SLA and availability reports do you have?
  84. How do I dispute my bill, and what proof do you have?
  85. What privacy guarantees do you have in place?
  86. What APIs do you offer, how are they supported, and where are the docs?
  87. Can I keep users on an older version while I train them on the new one?
  88. Can I back up and restore configurations?
  89. Why things bite back. Unforeseen consequences and the cautionary tale of the iron.
  96. What might bite back?
  97. Infrastructure transparency. We need to see where data lives after all.
  98. Portability and dependency. A whole new kind of vendor lock-in.
  99. Portfolio management tools. Too many SaaS tools to deal with. {Pics of Bitcurrent’s?}
  100. Rogue applications. When it’s costless to turn something up, everyone will.
  101. SaaS becomes the middleman. If buyer and seller use the same SaaS, does it become a marketplace?
  102. Social networking. Shared apps have shared users.
  103. Security. Much easier to do bad things when an account is compromised.
  104. Competitive advantage. Don’t SaaS what makes you special. {Fedex}
  106. Thank You.