This IDC Perspective is the second of a four-part series and presents the key research findings and strategic advice around the implementation of SaaS and cloud-based enterprise software. The key takeaway is that the time-honored software implementation challenges are present in SaaS and cloud-enabled software. Systems integration, testing, training, and change management are as important as they ever were in on-premises software implementations. Users must allocate proper funding for testing, training, and change management — these are not "optional extras," and if they are overlooked, trouble will inevitably ensue.

"Cloud software implementation projects are as much about business change as they are about technology change, and this change can be disruptive to your organization. Make sure you do your prep work, allocate and protect your budgets for training, testing, and communication, and above all get your business change management right," said Douglas Hayward, an associate vice president for services research at IDC. He added, "Keep an open mind and be flexible. Cloud may be heavily automated in operational terms, but implementation journey is anything but automated — it's still a very people-centered process. Stay open minded, create a trusted and strategic partnership with your implementation partner, and be prepared to change course to get to your destination."



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