This week’s webinar notes are from a January 14th webinar presented by Spend Matters’ Pierre Mitchell and KPMG’s Mani Mangalathumadam and sponsored by Hubwoo. The event can be viewed on demand here.
If you’re looking to get smart on the technical details behind cloud computing and XaaS (a.k.a. anything and everything as a service), this is a great event. I won’t dig into all of those details here. If you’re looking for that information, I recommend getting that information direct from the speakers and with the assistance of their detailed, polished visuals. The speakers positioned the content as ‘cloud in a nutshell’ from the outset, and it is a heck of a nut to crack in a 60 minute webinar.
That being said, there are a few more general points that emerged that can be discussed apart from the technical details:
SaaS Bill of Rights – This is an idea that goes back over a decade and includes concerns such as the user experience, rapid implementation, cycles of innovation, upgrades, subscription pricing and scalability. The idea of an agreed upon set of ‘rights’ between procurement practitioners and solution providers is important, but must be a constantly moving target. It particularly warranted reconsideration in the wake of the transition to ‘as a service’ delivery models. For additional content on the Cloud Bill of Rights for SaaS Apps, click here to read an by R "Ray" Wang, a blogger well-versed in enterprise applications.
Prosumerization – Everyone is becoming increasingly comfortable with technology and user interfaces. This growing level of comfort equates to higher expectations for ease of implementation and use as well as mobile compatibility. In the webinar, we heard about a progression from on-premise models to cloud models with the projected next step being to mobile technology. Users include both internal contacts and suppliers. They are no longer willing to accept slow ramp-up times, awkward user interfaces, or overly administrative or restrictive access policies.
Services Competencies – If an increasing number of solutions are to be contracted through as-a-service delivery models, procurement had better be able to source, negotiate, and manage services. Part of this is an acceptance that when a third party can deliver results with more efficient use of time, resources, and cost, justification will be required for decisions that process otherwise. Procurement is in a relatively unique position of being both a provider and consumer of third party services. An elevated level of strategic thinking will be required to mesh external service providers with existing hierarchy, to construct the appropriate centers of excellence (COEs), and to retain the market intelligence gained as a result.
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