What you REALLY get when buying cloud-based SaaS

by Pat Neary

I had a bit of an epiphany last week when I was listening to a panel discussion at Oracle OpenWorld in London (February 12-13, 2020, #OOWLON). I am not entirely sure whether someone came right out and said it, but what I heard (and what stuck in my brain as a take-away) is that when a company or organization selects, buys and implements a product like Oracle Cloud Financials they are effectively buying into a project that is never going to end!

Any student of project management will tell you that good projects are clearly defined and have official start and end dates. So, the idea of kicking off a project that is never going to end is a bit scary. In the old days, if you were buying enterprise application software, you would buy it, run an implementation project, close that down and go off and do other things. Maybe two, three or five years later, you would come back and revisit what you implemented and run another project to get up to a later supported version. Certainly not a bad thing, just the way it was (and is, for some companies that are still using perpetually licensed on premise or hosted software solutions).

An exciting future with SaaS

For many, those days are gone. It’s an exciting time, a time of tremendous opportunity for many of us. Oracle, and other vendors with SaaS offerings that are likely to be part of our futures, are now pushing quarterly updates. We need to come to terms with what this means and maximize the value we can get from a different way of working.

If you’re a JD Edwards EnterpriseOne (JDE E1) customer moving some (or all) of your estate to a SaaS application in the Cloud it’s not just exciting, it’s also a pretty big deal. What you end up with is not just an implementation project and then choice and control over what you do next, you get an implementation project and then a never-ending series of quarterly projects where you need to plan, manage and deal with the updates that you are required to assimilate.

A different kind of challenge

This is not necessarily a problem; it’s just a different kind of challenge. Working differently is often a by-product of evolution or innovation; especially when making changes to your applications landscape in order to realize the benefits of some truly excellent SaaS offerings.

Okay. Arguably, I have taken a few liberties by describing a never-ending series of quarterly projects as a project that never ends, but hopefully you get my point. The world of enterprise application software that many of us are moving toward is different. How we look after that software, and the tools and techniques we use to look after the software, also needs to be different.

Reach out to us at DWS if you would like to discuss how you can run more better smaller faster projects – whether you are running JDE E1 or an Oracle Cloud Applications (e.g. Oracle Cloud Financials or Oracle Cloud Supply Chain).

By the way, the session that sparked this blog was entitled “Life in the Cloud” The panel comprised: Clare D’Agostino, Government Finance Lead at Oracle, Tim Wheelhouse, Head of Finance Technology at UK Government Finance, Kate Williams, Programme Director at the University Of Birmingham and Mark Moody, Programme Manager at Croydon Council.

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