Tuesday, March 14, 2017

It's A Matter Of Perspective

So I suppose that if I'm going to blow the trumpet and announce the resurrection of this blog, I'd better write something meaningful...

I'm in Northern California at Oracle HQ this week. It's always fun to observe what's happening here in Silicon Valley.  For example, I can see the tech market is still good...lots of employment ads on billboards between the San Jose and San Francisco airports.  And the highly-publicized drought is clearly broken:  the area is as green as I've ever seen it.

I will say that I've also seen some divergent behavior in response to the breaking of the drought.  On one hand, I see lots of recently-installed xeriscape landscaping.  But on the other hand, I also see a bunch of recently repaired lawn grass - with lawn sprinklers watering every day.  I guess whether you're adapting with new water-wise landscaping or salvaging your lawn depends on your perspective.  Are drought-like conditions the new norm or is the weather in Northern California returning to normal after a long anomaly of dry weather?  I suppose it's all a matter of your perspective.

I see the same type of divergent behavior among SaaS customers.

Some customers see SaaS as driving a new business norm.  They embrace the trade-off of increasing simplicity to lower operational costs with the reduction in flexibility through business process customization.  Those customers see that they get more value from SaaS by accepting less flexibility in customizing the way they do business.

Other customers seem to simply look at SaaS as the latest trend to arrive in the enterprise tech world.  They're willing to have a vendor host their technology platform, but still want the flexibility to customize the software in order to make it fit their existing business processes.

It's possible for either type of customer to get what they want.  I'll maintain that the former type gets more value from SaaS than the latter.  But, in the end, I suppose the choice of adapting to the new norm or attempting to salvage what you had before really depends on your perspective.

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