SaaS Makes BI Work
Self-service BI is all about empowering the end user and removing the high barrier to entry, both in terms of CapEx and in-house expertise.
In yesterday's post about enterprise app stores for ERP, I noted that companies offering software-as-a-service ERP have been among the first to embrace the app store model. I also shared Forrester Research's prediction that SaaS ERP will experience annual growth of 21 percent through 2015. SaaS also appears to be a good fit for companies considering two-tier ERP , an emerging deployment model that seems to be gaining traction.
So it seems as if SaaS is making definite inroads into ERP. Still, it won't be for everyone. As I wrote a few weeks ago, there are three big sticking points when it comes to SaaS ERP adoption. These big three - cost, customization and security - are the same ones often encountered with any SaaS deployment. Yet they are even more relevant for ERP, considering how core it is to most companies and how much money many companies have already invested into their existing ERP systems.
Cost and customization both factor into the short list of reasons companies should consider SaaS ERP, offered by Skyline Consulting's Martin Browne as part of a larger discussion. They are:
He drills down further into several specific topics, including upgrades and implementation complexity. I particularly appreciate his comments on implementation, as he stresses it's not going to be the kind of walk-in-the-park some SaaS vendors will make it out to be.
Browne does a great job of addressing technical issues. As tricky as the technical issues can be, though, I think downplaying the importance of people and processes can cause far greater problems with SaaS implementations, a point I made in an earlier post about CRM. (I think the same general points apply to ERP. In fact, I think they are even more critical, again considering the core nature of ERP.)