The Cloud Understood (Part 1)

In this blog series, my goal is to explain the concepts of “Cloud,” its features, methods, strengths, weaknesses, benefits, and risks. Not since the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the “Internet” buzz-word consumed the mindset of everyone who was at least tangentially exposed to information technology, has a term become so pervasive as has the word “Cloud.” We see it everywhere; in the news, email, on the web, even in TV commercials. Everybody (and their brother) has the “Cloud Solution” for you. If only it were that easy. Read more

Evaluating the Cloud: How Much is the Cloud?

how-muchAs the holidays approach, most of us receive emails about shopping opportunities, special deals, and anything to encourage us to buy—and most focus on price. Those of us who enjoy a deal are often concerned about our personal budgets and also budgets in the professional realm. When considering any new purchase, one of the first two considerations are, “How much does it cost?” and “What do I get for my money?” This is easier to answer if you’re purchasing a toy for your child, but here at Sierra-Cedar, our HR Systems Survey looks at the cost of various HCM technologies; we have hard facts and insights based on cost data for both SaaS and on-premise solutions. Read more

Evaluating the Cloud: What is – Cloud?

Lately everyone I talk to asks me whether they should they migrate their on-premise system (Enterprise Resource Planning/ERP) to the Cloud, invest in their on-premise ERP, or do nothing. Before I answer this question, let’s explore what organizations are defining as the Cloud. Read more

Evaluating the Cloud: What is Driving User Adoption?

2014_coverIn the last blog, I said we would be looking at whether it’s better to upgrade your on-premise system or move to the Cloud/SaaS. I’m pushing that subject back a bit, in order to address some readers’ questions about one of the findings from our annual HR Systems Survey. (The most recent results are online for you to download. This is the complete report and it is free.)

Sierra-Cedar’s 17th Annual HR Systems Survey White Paper provides detailed HR technology data and presents unbiased results—as Joe Friday from Dragnet said, “Just the facts Ma’am.” Several readers asked about one of the Survey findings, “… are organizations moving to the Cloud for improved end user experience?”

The answer seems to be “yes.” Read more

PeopleSoft 9.2 Hosted Solution – Does it make cents?

OK, bad pun; but what are the costs and benefits associated with a hosted PS 9.2 solution?  A great time to explore whether or not this makes sense for your organization is during your overall PS upgrade evaluation. By outsourcing the management and maintenance of their PeopleSoft systems, many clients can realize financial and operational advantages and gain advanced functionality that might not otherwise be affordable.

Costs & Benefits of a Hosted Solution Read more

Integration Technologies: Finding the Right Fit

Integration technologies are now more important than ever, as Higher Education customers look at adopting SaaS applications and interact with a wider variety of data consumers. This includes old technology, new technology, leading edge technology, and industry-specific solutions. With these ever-expanding technology footprints, how do we find the right integration technology fit? Read more

The Two Most Impactful Higher Education Technology and Services Trends for 2013

Someone recently asked me to predict which service and technology trends will have the biggest impact on Higher Education in 2013. Interesting question. Though lacking a proper crystal ball, I nonetheless gaze into the future and no less than a dozen influential trends come into view. Then I focus more sharply, and two hit me between the eyes: SaaS and Mobile applications. It is clear that both are heavily influencing higher education strategic planning initiatives already. Let’s take a look at their impact on higher ed and where they might be leading us.  Read more

Outpacing the Shift: What CEOs & CIOs should be thinking about now to prepare for cloud innovations to come

The software and services market is changing at a rapid pace. The question I get most often is ”what should CEOs & CIOs be thinking about now to prepare for and ideally outpace that shift?”

C level executives are going to be dealing with many of the same decisions and challenges they have faced for the last dozen years, but the context from which to make these decisions has changed. Their new vantage point will not only be located on campus but also above campus…in the cloud. And from above, everything looks different.

They will be dealing with:

  1. Risk – defined as operational capability and talent management
  2. Security – another risk-based topic, but much broader in scope when cloud or outsourced solutions enter the discussion,
  3. Budget – examining all angles of operational and capital cost models, and
  4. Governance – management and oversight of vendors, integrations, etc.

We’ll call the above a 4-legged stool, a very sturdy structure on which to build the future. Read more