It’s no secret that software as a service (SaaS) applications like Salesforce CRM, Eloqua, Workday, NetSuite and Concur, to name a few, often get their start in the enterprise through individual departments, divisions and subsidiaries. Known for their rapid deployment times, frequent feature releases with API updates and end-user ease of use, SaaS applications are typically much more dynamic than on-premise business applications. New fields and objects can be added with a few clicks by line-of-business administrators, analysts and operational roles. So when it comes to data integration, waiting for IT to redevelop and deploy mappings every time there is a metadata change typically doesn’t meet the expectations of business users and application owners, who are used to greater speed and agility in the cloud.
The Informatica Winter 2013 announcement included the following customer quote:
“The Winter 2013 release will accelerate the time it takes to access, integrate and deliver valuable data in order to meet our business imperatives.”
It was also noted that, “the new Informatica Cloud user interface will make the cloud integration solution even more user friendly.” There are a number of user experience enhancements with this upgrade, so I sat down with Joshua Vaughn, Principal User Experience Designer for Informatica Cloud, to learn more about the impetus behind the new design and features, what’s on the horizon for the future releases, and why user interface (UI) design is so important for cloud applications.
Did you know that Forrester estimates in their 10 Cloud Predictions For 2012 blog post that on average organizations will be running more than 10 different cloud applications and that the public Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market will hit $33 billion by the end of 2012?
However, in the same post, Forrester also acknowledged that SaaS adoption is led mainly by Customer Relationship Management (CRM), procurement, collaboration, and Human Capital Management (HCM) software and that all other software segments will “still have significantly lower SaaS adoption rates”. It’s not hard to see this in the market today, with cloud juggernaut salesforce.com leading the way in CRM, and Workday and SuccessFactors doing battle in HCM, for example. Forrester claims that amongst the lesser known software segments, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Business Intelligence (BI), and Supply Chain Management (SCM) will be the categories to break through as far as SaaS adoption is concerned, with approximately 25% of companies using these solutions by 2012. (more…)