Posts Tagged ‘requirements’

When checking out cloud / SaaS solutions the focus should not only be on functional requirements, but also on non-functional requirements.
They can be different to requirements for on-premise solutions.

Requirements
1. Integration into the Corporate Intranet
2. Look and feel like the Corporate Intranet
3. Availability of LDAP user data in cloud solution
4. (re-)Usage of user’s domain login name and password
5. Storage of data in [country]
6. Workers council  proven customization capabilities for German users
7. Integration with existing (Enterprise-)Search
8. Integration with existing collaboration platform

For sure some of them are old-world-thinking, not cloud-related or just too picky. However, new paradigms such as cloud or SaaS solutions require updated requirement catalogues.

Others are just seen as standard,  but still the cloud paradigm requires a change of people’s mind set or would you require “high scalability” explicitly? No, it’s part of the paradigm and nothing on top. (However, challenging is always recommended 😉 )

So, how could an evaluation result for cloud solutions look like … !?

Evaluation
… as always we find some good things and bad things at the end of an evaluation.

1. Prototyping – good
Impressive (!) to see how quick cloud vendors implement prototypes based on a detailed design process chart, which they received two days prior to the workshop.
2. Flexibility – good
The platform is outstandingly flexible in terms of customization for visualizations, field definitions, workflow and escalation settings,etc.
3. Licensing – bad
Being an optimist I wanted to combine Cloud and SaaS, so we asked for more flexible license models compared to the offered ones. Unfortunately, this is something we are still dealing with as the license models are still “old-world-thinking”, i.e. buy a license for one year and it stays for one year independently of usage, etc.
4. Self-Perception – bad
They cannot take over the world and deliver solutions for each and every requirement/situation, which is just ok. However, they think they could and they think they’ll beat each and every market leader out there – whatever they’re are offering.
(ok – a little bit extreme, but still the message remains)

In regards to the non-functional requirements it was “ok” (only), because:

1. Integration into the Corporate Intranet
yes, e.g. iFrame, deep link.
BUT: no iFrame for specific parts of the window (e.g. Dashboard); only the entire window possible
2. Look and feel like the Corporate Intranet
good; some customizations such as logo via GUI. Further customization through CSS adjustments or developments in provided environment
3. Availability of LDAP user data in cloud solution
good; Web Services interaction – as far as the theory is concerned
4. (re-)Usage of user’s domain login name and password
good; Web Services interaction, SAML
5. Storage of data in [country]
no (of course) – no promise on which data centers worldwide store data
6. Workers council  proven customization capabilities for German users
good
7. Integration with existing (Enterprise-)Search
most challenging requirement, which requires deeper analysis on requirements and technological solutions/options
8. Integration with existing collaboration platform
so la la, as they prefer their own functionality. Offered solutions: deep links

Conclusion

You have to go into the cloud!?
This question is just to high level. It strongly depends on what you want to put into the cloud.

Go for infrastructure – yes, go for storage – yes, go for smaller delineated areas – yes.
For large movements better have a second look on whether your requirements and expectations will be met or you better plan with a phased approach, because there is one thing for sure … the number of cloud offerings will grow rapidly and their maturity will do so as well.

In any case: cloud solutions are worth to consider for “optimizing” the IT landscape and reducing costs.

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