Recently, we helped a client implement a solution by using a Cloud based software as a service (SaaS) application. Our client is a Fortune 500 Oil and Gas organization. Globally, they have deployed IBM Maximo for Enterprise Asset Management and rely on SAP for Materials Management. One region within this global organization needed to track specialized equipment inventory. The lack of an IT solution was incurring significant costs for the organization. The efficiencies that could be gained from an IT solution created a business opportunity for a near term solution. When our client approached the global team, there was to be a two to three year waiting list for their data and requirements to be incorporated into the global solution for asset and inventory management. This region contacted us to discuss alternatives.
We have significant experience in working with IBM Maximo for Enterprise Asset Management and knowledge of the integrations between Maximo and SAP in this client’s global solution. We understood this region needed a solution that could be deployed quickly and cost effectively, while also positioning them to migrate to the strategic solution in 2 to 3 years. We looked to the cloud for a solution.
We found Tracmor. Tracmor is a cloud provider of web based asset and inventory management software, hosted by Amazon Web Services. Tracmor makes their code available as open source, and they also provide a version of the software available as a service (SaaS) with hosting and technical support included. We worked with our client to reconcile their requirements against the cloud based Tracmor software. We were able to implement a solution at a minimal cost for our client within 3 months that included complete asset and inventory data, configured workflows, and reporting. Our client now has the ability to confirm their requirements using a live, working application prior to their significant investment in modifying the global Maximo and SAP solution. They are seeing immediate benefits and are well positioned for the future migration.
Our client chose Tracmor because they needed a solution that could be implemented quickly and meet minimum requirements. Selecting Tracmor provided them with many added benefits: There was no impact to the global organization. There were no servers to procure, build, or deploy. There were no development or test environments to implement, no IT service line to create within the helpdesk, and no negotiations with other regions or parent organizations. Because this is a (relatively) temporary solution while this region waits to be migrated to the global IT platforms, there was no major objection to their use of the cloud.
Since this was a temporary solution, and one that our client preferred, there was no other alternative available to our regional client team, this cloud solution was an obvious choice and conferred significant advantages. However, we acknowledge that there are more considerations when evaluating a permanent/strategic move to the cloud. There are significant concerns around security, SLAs, long term viability of the software provider, the long term plans for software enhancements or customizations, the exit plan to migrate to a different solution in the future, etc.
Despite all of the detailed considerations, this move to the cloud by our Fortune 500 client is not unique. This IBM fact sheet includes many compelling statistics regarding the growth of cloud based applications. Here are some of the excerpts from this fact sheet:
- 85% of new software is built for cloud today. *Source: IDC Directions- IT Cloud Services at the Crossroads: How IaaS/PaaS/SaaS Business Models are Evolving, 2013
- 20% of all applications revenue in 2014 will be generated by SaaS. *Source: IDC: How SaaS Gets Built According to the research firm IDC, 85 percent of new software being built today is for the cloud.
- Around 58% of enterprises spend more than 10% of their annual budgets on cloud services. *Source: The Everest Group: Enterprise Cloud Adoption Survey 2014 Results
- About 56% of enterprises consider cloud to be a strategic differentiator which enables operational excellence and accelerated innovation. *Source: The Everest Group: Enterprise Cloud Adoption Survey 2014 Results
It is crucial for a company of any size to adapt quickly to change and take advantage of opportunities. The larger the organization, the more challenging it becomes to implement change, especially changes involving IT solutions. The innovation, speed and cost savings that are provided by SaaS applications have many large organizations considering applications in the cloud. We agree and are happy to help our clients with a move to the cloud, whether it is a temporary move for near term strategic reasons, or a more permanent solution.