Working with some of the top companies in the west coast over the last two years, we see the journey of SaaS led transformation of companies into cloud accelerating. Our strong partnership with Google and similar partnership have further helped us go deeper into nuts and bolts of cloud transformation . Building deep expertise in PaaS, Applications, Infrastructure, Security, Operations and more has led us to launch our own SaaS application for Supply Chain analytics called Planning in a Box ( www.planninginabox.com
). We are a services company who transformed into a SaaS company upon market demand.
When we talk to our existing customers, we frequently get asked by either one of their organization or at the company level, “What does it take to transform into SaaS”?. Our frequent response is. “Let us get back to the drawing board”.
Once we get in front of a drawing board, there are three things that we start our conversation with and then go into great depth depending on the areas of what really matters.
- SaaS definition normalization : We get the clarity first on what they mean and do not mean by SaaS. We then normalize to the industry references E.g. Salesforce, Workday, Oracle Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and similar.
- Transformation Scope : We then narrow down to the scope of transformation they are looking for. E.g. convert a product to SaaS cloud, or Operational capabilities for SaaS. More often than otherwise, clients tend to underestimate the process, system, cultural and people change needed for the transformation to be effective.
- Strategic impacts Assessment : We then try to get a sense of their readiness to take on the strategic impacts of SaaS transformation E.g. P&L impacts, People Skills, R&D approach, Product Development methodologies and the willing mind set of Agile rapid deployment.
What Really Matters : After our initial conversation on the above topics we then get into what really matters to them E.g. H/W to Software monetization models Or SaaS Operations Or Product Engineering methodologies or SaaS Innovation. SaaS focused Operations along with right financial modeling has been observed to be lot more critical than ever before because what and how customer pays fundamentally changes.
SaaS is way more complex than we initially thought and we walk the customer through the journey it took us. The key here is that we ultimately cannot shift the needs of the end customers. For Examples, if you are building the SaaS application for forecasting, then the need to manage forecast accuracy does not change. The SaaS user looks for better usability and lower cost driving higher value for dollars then spend with lesser commitments upfront.
John Chamber’s quote a year back reflects what we see today “To move faster and more efficiently, companies must shift their focus and build their business around mobile, cloud, social, data, and analytics.”. “The pace of change is accelerating in every industry”. We now see SaaS on Cloud transformation is revisiting the fundamentals of the company and is the key element leading the pace of change. All of this starts with an innovative mind set.
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