March 14, 2016 | Written by: Janet W. Sifers
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First, cloud made large-scale, shared infrastructure a reality. Now, software-as-a-service (SaaS) is taking cloud to the next level with insights as a service that deliver sustainable innovation for every department in every business.
Here are five things you might not have known about SaaS applications that you could have learned at InterConnect, February’s IBM cloud and mobile conference.
1. SaaS adoption is accelerating due to digital disruption. We are seeing dramatic changes in how corporate value is created. Rather than being based on tangibles, today’s shared economy is more focused on intangibles—your brand, your intellectual property and your people. How you create and manage these are influenced by shifts in employee demographics and the evolution of non-linear and freelance-based career paths. Digital disruption also means identifying new business models, such as helping retailers engage customers in new ways, within and beyond the mall. SaaS is one of the tools organizations can use to respond to these changes more quickly.
2. SaaS is secure. According to Gartner, “Many businesses and organizations will find they are more secure in the public cloud than they are in their own data centers if they just apply the right policies and procedures to maintaining their responsibility to being secure.” (1)
Our Chief Information Security Officer for IBM Cloud, David Cass, agrees. Years of security leadership and a focus on trust and privacy mean that our clients have peace of mind when choosing SaaS. Look for vendors who can deliver:
- Security by design, achieved through a secure engineering framework
- Enforced standards, tested processes and dedicated tools to protect your data
- Operational security enforced by state-of-the-art scanning and intrusion detection
- Global security incident process monitored at all times
3. SaaS is cognitive. At InterConnect, Gigster shared how it built a new cognitive retail app for Westfield San Francisco Centre in just 15 days. There are many other ways to engage with cognitive APIs and bring new ideas to market just as quickly. Or you can adopt ready-to-use apps such as IBM Watson Analytics or one of our many cognitive-enabled SaaS apps to experience cognitive right away.
4. It’s easy to move to SaaS. We’ve made it easy to convert from on-premises licenses to SaaS through our Bridge to Cloud program. Many clients want to have a “cloud first” approach so they can move faster, and embrace a digital strategy across their business. Here are a couple of highlights from the conference:
- Mercedes is using BPM on Cloud to run non-manufacturing procurement processes across five North American business units.
- There was an excellent panel in which four financial institutions, National Australia Bank, Citigroup, Prudential and Huntington Bank, discussed how cloud is driving digital innovation.
5. With SaaS, every department is an IT buyer. This decentralization has changed the role of IT and how every organization engages with new apps. At InterConnect, we heard from a range of speakers—from departments including HR, IT, finance and marketing—who showed us that every role in every department in any organization can benefit from SaaS apps. Though this puts new pressures on IT, the organization benefits from the faster time to value from these new apps.
How can your organization use SaaS? Engage in the conversation by watching the video of Lisa Hammitt’s panel or by visiting our site.
(1) Source: Gartner Cloud Strategy Cookbook, November 2015.