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6 key questions to ask your cloud provider when moving to SaaS

Guest Author
This is a syndicated post, view the original post here

By Yaldah Hakim Rashid, Director, Cloud Applications Product Marketing

Previously published on the Oracle Cloud Applications Blog

Are you looking into or expanding your company’s use of SaaS (Software-as-a-Service)? The are several considerations when evaluating the ‘right’ cloud provider. To maximize the benefits of SaaS such as a unified view of your business, increased information sharing, and access to the right data at the right time, you should ask the right questions. We have outlined some common questions for you to ask in your evaluation and why they are important from the latest version of the e-book, SaaS for Dummies, Oracle 3rd Edition.

Question 1: Does it offer one-off siloed services or complete solution suites?

One of the reasons you are likely considering SaaS is to drive business value and innovation. A connected SaaS suite of applications provides a unified and accurate view of your business and allows data and information sharing across the enterprise, among other benefits. To maximize the benefits of SaaS, look to providers that offer a full suite of applications that support your operations. An enterprise-class SaaS offering should, at minimum, offer Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Human Capital Management (HCM), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Manufacturing, Sales, and Service. However, avoid the all or nothing approach. The SaaS applications should be interoperable with other apps, and your provider should allow you to implement the applications you need, when you need them so you can address your most pressing business issues

Question 2: Does it provide continuous innovation and continuous advantage for your business?

Saving money is not the only reason to move your applications to the cloud. With the right SaaS applications, you get constant innovation and continuous improvement for your business. Some key capabilities you should look for in a SaaS provider include:

  • Periodic updates for access to the latest innovations.
  • Applications with built-in AI, learning as you go to for intelligent processing and prediction.
  • Data management capabilities to better manage your data and hierarchies.
  • Data as a Service to enrich your customer, audience, and prospect data set.
  • Cloud services that support Internet of Things (IoT), big data and other embedded technologies.

Your SaaS provider should also provide a consistent, intuitive and conversational user interface and application services such as digital assistants and chat bots. These can help connect and engage your employees, customers and partners.

Question 3: Does it simplify business process changes and connectivity?

Your application provider should deliver capabilities that enable business processes to dynamically change to your current business needs. As the e-book points out, “your cloud provider should offer built-in best practice business processes enabled by analytics, big data, AI, machine learning (ML), IoT, smart automation, digital assistants, blockchain, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR). Armed with these capabilities, you can quickly and easily configure your business processes to respond to changing business needs.[i]

Question 4: Can you view your business data holistically?

Data is the lifeblood of your business and should be treated as such. You should work with a cloud provider that can deliver a unified view of all your business data from all your different sources. This includes master data management (MDM) and enterprise data management (EDM) capabilities, including third-party data, SaaS applications, private clouds, on-premises systems, and external SaaS services.  By having a unified, real-time view of your business, you can make better decisions faster, leading to outcomes meeting or exceeding expectations.

Question 5: Is it proven and trusted?

Your SaaS provider should have a proven track record and established trust with your organization. Oracle includes industry-leading scalability and availability, integrated governance and control, and reliability. Your business is likely becoming more digital, creating exponential growth, consumption, and analysis of data. That data must be safeguarded. For instance, maintaining customer data is a huge responsibility, especially when you consider the consequences of security mandates such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) globally or specific state laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Unsecure data not only can be costly but erodes trust with your customers and even employees. Keep this in mind whenever you do business with a cloud service provider.

Question 6: Is your cloud secure from top to bottom?

Building on the trust theme, a secure cloud offering should be designed and built to provide multiple layers of security and multiple levels of defense including:

  • Secure and reliable connectivity to all of your applications, whether on-premises, private-cloud or public-cloud applications and services.
  • Identity and access management controls to block unauthorized access to sensitive data.
  • Threat alerts and controls designed to reveal unauthorized system and data changes through auditing, monitoring, and reporting.
  • Comprehensive security processes designed to address security policies, standards, practices, and procedures.

Your provider should put security first, providing continuous protection, automation and reduced risk.

Comparing SaaS providers

So how do SaaS application providers stand up? Oracle has the most complete, connected SaaS suite of applications built with AI and machine learning (ML) across all business functions, providing you with the latest advances in technology—ready when you need it. The breadth and depth of our cloud applications is unmatched.

Utilizing our cloud applications, customers are realizing many benefits including a unified business view across departments, increased data visibility, and more accurate and shareable real-time data. This and much more provides a foundation and tools for business innovation, increased productivity and better decision making.

Oracle’s complete SaaS suite helps you keep up with the pace of technology to build your business for the future.  Why deal with the headache of multiple software providers? Eliminate headaches, lower costs, and gain the increased functionality, innovations, and security that your business needs.

To learn more, download a complimentary copy of the SaaS for Dummies, Oracle 3rd Edition.

 

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