Apps for tomorrow
Apps for tomorrow
“The cloud has become king to the modern end user, and the mobile, on-demand consumption model is now the norm.”
Vice President of the Air Transport Industry Cloud, SITA
Software as a service has gone mainstream by stealth.
The consumerization of IT is a term that has been around in business for the best part of a decade. The blurring of the line between business and personal technology use has continued apace, driven by Generation Y end users. Tools that were previously the preserve of the business world have become commoditized, creating technology-proficient customers who consume on their terms. Software as a service (SaaS) has gone mainstream by stealth.
This change in user habits has caused a rethink of traditional business practices. To address the demands of the modern consumer, it has become vital for companies to think like them. In addition, social media has seen consumers search, try, like, bookmark and share information about products and services. As such, it is essential to ensure that your brand has trust and respect in the market to thrive.
Facebook and Google have taken online social interaction to the next level and have evolved from portals into pseudo marketplaces. This has been driven by unprecedented mobility, with people now utilizing the cloud daily for email, banking, paying bills, ordering groceries and buying and managing multimedia, like music, TV shows, podcasts and movies. The cloud has become king to the modern end user, and the mobile, on-demand consumption model is now the norm. As such, we must address a generation that is truly always-on. The opportunities for retailers and service providers are clear.
To benefit from this, however, you need to implement SaaS effectively. SaaS lets you offer best-of-breed apps, which carry the promise of shorter IT cycles and lower CAPEX. As independent software vendors build industry-specific apps to drive the SaaS model rather than license sales, you have to make the right choice of apps to drive business and customer service forward. Questions remain, however - how do you choose and procure SaaS? Is it possible to offer service level agreements (SLAs)? Can SaaS and apps deliver the required levels of integration?
An initial way to do this is by addressing your organization's cloud maturity. Identify and plan for patterns and drivers, which can include optimizing IT departments to cut costs, allowing for user pressure to demand new apps, or specifying dedicated apps for new business purposes rather than trying to convert legacy ones.
Governance is also vital. SaaS gives you the chance to transform operational governance and implement dynamic sourcing underpinned by an end-toend SLA. Putting the right framework in place at the beginning lets you deliver the highest quality service to end users and partners. Involving these users and partners in governance transformation can also help you make your organization leaner and more progressive. By thinking socially, as your customers now do, and involving them in policy development and process creation, you increase their trust and loyalty towards you.
Governance transformation also extends to employees and the way that they work. Remember that you are dealing with a whole new generation of users, and try to think socially and collaboratively at all times. If employees want Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in the workplace to help them be more efficient, change human resources policies and working processes to encourage this.
BYOD is now commonplace in many industries, and research has shown that Generation Y employees consider it a right rather than a privilege. By implementing BYOD, we can reap the benefits of a more mobile, agile and satisfied workforce - so it must be factored into an SaaS strategy. Single sign-on, self service and an apps catalog available to workers can deliver a secure and controlled SaaS environment for employees, which empowers them to do more with less.
With SITA's Air Transport Industry Cloud, we have evolved our thinking to address the new user and the cloud through SaaS. Apps no longer reside in the data center; they are all around us, and demand for them is being driven by end users. This lets us engage with customers and stakeholders more closely than ever before. Creating an app marketplace for the air transport industry and offering it to our industry customers and users on a community basis is one of the enablers of the way forward. Through this, we will see accelerated application adoption and greater opportunities for resolving complex business processes by providing innovative and replicable solutions across airlines, airport, aircraft manufacturers and independent software vendors.
Greg Ouillon Vice President of the Air Transport Industry Cloud, SITA
Provider of IT services to the air transport industry, SITA is one of the world's most international companies. Its global reach is based on local presence, with services for over 500 air transport industry members and 2,700 customers in over 200 countries and territories. Since 2001, its successful partnership with Orange Business Services has delivered best-in-class technology and innovation, providing the air transport industry with the richest dedicated communications infrastructure. SITA had consolidated revenues of US$1.5 billion in 2011. For more information at www.sita.aero