Cloud & SaaS DAM: The Devil Is In The Detail

Lorraine Wilson, writing for IT Business Edge discusses the devil in the detail of some Cloud/SaaS agreements and how a number of end users are unaware of what exactly they are letting themselves in for in this article:

Another popular misconception discussed in the article: You won’t need developers if you move to SaaS. As I mentioned, there are a number of vendors that support integration with various SaaS apps, but what’s important to remember is the options can be very specific to applications. If your enterprise application or SaaS provider isn’t supported, well, then you maybe need to pay for more customized integration. Even investing in an integration solution or platform does.” [Read More]

The piece discusses ERP specifically but many of the issues have direct relevant to DAM also, especially if you are a larger organisation with a lot of custom integration needs.

Myself and Naresh have had concerns about this whole area for some time now.  As a pre-packaged ‘off the peg’ option the SaaS and Cloud DAM offerings have definite advantages compared with the classic IT approach to software procurement and deployment.  On numerous occasions when working with clients, however, we have subsequently found that the requirements are more complicated than one of the standard packages can support and either the vendor has wanted the client to pay an exorbitant sum to work around the limitations of their own platform, or we have resorted to de-constructing the whole service offer and sourcing a combination of alternatives (and associated trade-offs as a result of going down that route).

Naresh and some of the other consultants we collaborate with seem assured that these Cloud platforms will eventually fully replace enterprise deployments.  As someone who focuses more on the  implementation/delivery side of things, I have some doubts about how long this process will take before it becomes a reality.  I still find virtualized platforms in general to be unsuitable for heavy duty production use where the storage requirements are more intensive in terms of scale or speed (particularly HD video).  Much of the Cloud/SaaS hype is the tech sector trying to run before it can walk, in my opinion and the devil in the detail of vendor contracts discussed in the article referred to is where the marketing spin runs into the hard reality of some complex technical limitations that are going to take some time for the IT industry to come up with serviceable solutions for.

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