Embracing SaaS: A Blueprint for IT Success

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1 Embracing SaaS: A Blueprint for IT Success

2 2 Embracing SaaS: A Blueprint for IT Success Introduction THIS EBOOK OUTLINES COMPELLING APPROACHES for CIOs to establish and lead a defined software-as-a-service (SaaS) strategy for their companies in order to meet line-of-business (LoB) needs for innovation and agility. In the pages that follow, we share key success factors for CIOs that can help them and their organizations take best advantage of the opportunities inherent in SaaS solution deployment. We show how making this shift is consistent with achieving organizational goals.

3 IBM Cloud SaaS 3 Software as a Service: A Strategic Choice MUCH MORE THAN a delivery choice for software deployment, SaaS is a strategic choice with distinct advantages for the enterprise and LoB practitioners. It supports finance objectives and priorities of the IT organization as well. SaaS adoption serves the objectives of the contemporary CIO, who is charged with managing IT budget constraints across numerous implementation projects. Typically, 70% of budget is spent on systems maintenance and operations, while business leaders across the enterprise bring continuous requests for more competitive systems and improved functionality. 1 Contrary to some conventional wisdom, a SaaS strategy can free up precious resources. Simultaneously, IT teams can get more done with less chaos while delivering consistently on business needs. At IBM, we identify six deployment and governance success factors for CIOs and business leaders to help them and their organizations make the most of SaaS to achieve organizational goals. These success factors can help companies take best advantage of the opportunities inherent in a shift toward SaaS solution deployment: One: Stay Secure Two: Ensure Privacy Three: Scale Globally Four: Integrate Systems Five: Preserve Choice Six: Align Organizations Let s look at each of these success factors and explore how they can be applied by today s CIOs. 1 Source: 2011, IDC

4 4 Embracing SaaS: A Blueprint for IT Success One: Stay Secure DATA SECURITY is a fundamental priority for the CIO and a core value for every successful organization. SaaS implementation meets today s security standards without compromise. When it comes to data security, today s CIOs need to challenge their SaaS provider to deliver on critical points of value, approaches and policies. In these conversations, CIOs should: Look for transparency relative to the provider s policies Expect providers to demonstrate that their operations are secure with industry standard checklists and certifications Understand their obligations relative to security, privacy and regulations Set and manage policy around integrations between SaaS solutions and solutions they own on their premises LoB decision makers are likely to be less sensitive to security standards, since they are naturally focused on outcomes more than process. When a LoB decision maker initiates adoption of a SaaS solution, it remains the CIO s role to engage them in a collaborative process to map out and enforce the relevant security policies.

5 IBM Cloud SaaS 5 Two: Ensure Privacy DATA PRIVACY and confidentiality are critical elements of software deployment policy. These elements take on special significance when the organization takes stewardship of customer, consumer and partner data. SaaS from IBM is designed to maintain privacy and confidentiality while handling data in appropriate ways. The CIO is challenged to establish data privacy policies that respect both business customs and personal privacy. It is a key leadership role to maintain organizational consciousness of the responsibilities and trust inherent in that stewardship. Business Customs It is also a key leadership role to ensure that data privacy practices are in compliance with varying regulations and standards set and enforced by jurisdictions throughout the world. 2 Protection of personal and other sensitive data are an obligation of your organization as well as the SaaS provider acting as data processor. It is a preferred practice to define and enforce a clear data privacy policy, publish it and educate all members of the organization and ecosystem. It is important to select vendors whose capabilities and reputation can assure that privacy is maintained. Organizational Consciousness Personal Privacy 2 Source: Who Goes There? IBM Software white paper (2013)

6 6 Embracing SaaS: A Blueprint for IT Success SaaS in Action: Client Need: Improve the quality and breadth of product offerings globally. Provide total solutions tailored to each customer s environment and operations. Solution: Implement a secure social extranet. The client uses it to test pricing and launch concepts. This solution significantly improved information exchange among people located around the world, both inside and outside the company. It has fostered a new, lateral work style that has redefined partnerships and eliminated time zone barriers to productivity. Three: Scale Globally A DISTINCT BENEFIT of the SaaS software deployment approach comes from scalability that matches organizational needs over time both geographically and across functional areas of the business. The SaaS vendor bears responsibility for maintaining the cloud infrastructure and keeping applications updated anywhere in the world. The CIO sets parameters for these activities that are consistent with business objectives. Even smaller businesses often have users or customers across multiple geographies. Hosting key applications in the cloud can make user location a non-issue, even if they move about daily. With scalable, globally available solutions, a SaaS strategy lets you: Define global needs at a local level, like user interface language, client success assistance, education and training, and migration services Be comfortable with a single set of capabilities that applies to all geographies

7 IBM Cloud SaaS 7 SaaS in Action: Client Need: A retailer defined a need to become more proactive in resolving supply chain exceptions. The goal was to control these exceptions before they had a negative impact on inbound ordering costs and customer service levels. Solution: Cloud application integration improved the collection of order lifecycle information by tying data from internal procurement, warehouse and transportation systems together with external data from their freight forwarder, broker and carriers. The solution made the value chain a competitive differentiator. Four: Integrate Systems THE DAILY CHALLENGE for every CIO includes ensuring that multiple solutions and applications work together seamlessly to meet organizational objectives and the needs of the business user base. Often SaaS solutions are embraced by LoB buyers as standalone capabilities, with integration to other systems only an afterthought. CIOs can anticipate this challenge and engage those peers early in their decision making process to deliver smooth integration. With the goal of driving total value across the enterprise, the CIO defines how key applications interact. Considerations include consistent identity management, required analytics and collaboration, the avoidance of data silos and alignment with the existing device management strategy. CIO s can streamline these processes by choosing a SaaS provider with common application programming interfaces (APIs). The strategic approach regards SaaS applications as extensions of existing infrastructure and plans for: Integration between SaaS and on-premise enterprise systems Integration between SaaS providers Integration of Systems of Record with Systems of Engagement

8 8 Embracing SaaS: A Blueprint for IT Success Five: Preserve Choice LINE OF BUSINESS USERS collectively require sufficient solution options to help them meet their full scope of business objectives. At the same time, CIOs need deployment options that are compatible with present and future technology investment priorities, such as serving an increasingly mobile workforce. A comprehensive SaaS strategy delivers on both values. It is a preferred practice to align with a solution provider that offers both breadth and depth. A best-of-breed provider will bring solutions for a whole range of roles, while supporting a hybrid cloud environment. To ensure relevant solution choices are available to LoB users, the CIO will: Assess providers in terms of breadth versus depth and align with one provider that offers many solutions rather than expertise in one area Select a key solution provider that can provide a spectrum of industry expertise, product expertise, relevant experience and sufficient scale Balance on-premise and off-premise options as required Maintain flexibility and agility SaaS in Action: Client Need: Drive business innovation while delivering IT efficiencies. Solution: Customer constructed a Cloud First strategy to balance these two dimensions. It deployed digital marketing optimization, social business, procurement solutions and more to drive broad value across the enterprise. Resist limitations in available provider options

9 IBM Cloud SaaS 9 Six: Align Organization THE SHEER VARIETY of line of business objectives and priorities puts pressure on the IT infrastructure to supply business applications quickly. A well-crafted SaaS strategy can extend IT s capabilities with minimal impact. Also, there is a framework for selecting and introducing new applications, where the IT and LoB teams can work together to define and achieve business objectives. This collaboration ensures more rapid and successful outcomes for SaaS application deployment while establishing realistic expectations for LoB leadership. LoB leaders are defining rules of the road for their own functional areas, but the CIO has the cross-functional vision to combine those rules and approaches across the business. An integrated, strategic approach delivers great advantages. The strong technology leader will: Advance the conversation surrounding the technology climate and corporate culture Ensure an integrated SaaS selection and decision making process that accommodates the needs and concerns of both LoB and IT leadership Establish a Cloud First Council comprised of senior managers from all departments that together serve to govern cloud adoption policies and strategies SaaS in Action: Client Need: Improve procurement and supplier management processes. Solution: Improved onboarding of new suppliers. Improved management of supplier development and phasing out of high risk suppliers. Eliminated reliance on supplier information held in 120 ERP systems and 8,000 individual databases. Identify where SaaS options matter most to the different roles across the business Understand internal economics and control, while enlisting the up-front support of the finance and legal teams to define expectations for an enterprise SaaS strategy A well-aligned SaaS strategy is a key element of a nimble and responsive approach toward managing technology while aligning resources with overall business goals.

10 10 Embracing SaaS: A Blueprint for IT Success Conclusion: How CIOs Respond FORWARD-THINKING CIOs recognize the above opportunities. They confront a need to change and advance their approaches, driven by three main factors: 1. Changing Customer Focus: Virtually all industries have been driven to become more customer-centric in their decision making. The need to align the right data with the right tools determines how well companies can meet escalating consumer expectations (or not) Changing Competition: Smaller companies are outperforming bigger competitors with innovation and fresh thinking. Bigger companies can remain static or they can shift strategy and reinvent their approaches. Changing Context: The convergence of social, mobile, analytics and cloud, sometimes labeled the nexus of forces, is rapidly changing how people and businesses work together. This convergence impacts collaboration between employees, between vendors and suppliers, and across the industry. Where LoB leaders have tended to get more deeply involved in their own IT systems decisions, IT leadership is now becoming more business-savvy and consultative as an enabler, not an inhibitor. Aligning business practices around a broader SaaS strategy provides distinct areas of strategic value with long-term benefits speed, agility and competitive advantage.

11 IBM Cloud SaaS 11 One: Stay Secure Two: Ensure Privacy Three: Scale Globally Four: Integrate Systems Five: Preserve Choice Six: Align Organizations Software as a Service: A Strategic Choice HIGHLY EFFECTIVE companies deploy SaaS solutions to drive innovation and get to market quickly without compromising their IT standards. SaaS is much more than a delivery choice for software deployment. It is a strategic choice with distinct advantages for the enterprise and its leaders. It offers significant commercial and business advantages: Improved business agility Best-of-breed offerings Access to the most current software Predictable operating expense

12 Software as a Service (SaaS) Focus on business not IT deployment IBM offers best-in-class SaaS applications that help you accelerate innovation and focus on business goals rather than IT deployment. IBM is a global SaaS leader with over 100 applications supported by IBM Cloud data centers around the world and delivering the enterprise-grade security, availability and elasticity you expect from IBM. IBM presents a wider range of SaaS options than any other provider, combined with a broad set of options for deployment. These encompass a unique portfolio of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS solutions that accelerates business process innovation, delivers business analytics at the point of impact, and enables collaboration by creating and linking business networks. For more information Learn more about the IBM Cloud SaaS portfolio today: Visit: ibm.com/saas Call: Follow us and #ibmsaas Speak with your IBM representative or business partner Copyright IBM Corporation 2014 IBM Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY USA Produced in the United States of America April 2014 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, and IBM Cloud are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at Copyright and trademark information at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED AS IS WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NONINFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. GMM14002USEN-01

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