But, as organizations move to SaaS, they are also asking about the challenges they may encounter and how to measure the value that awaits them with the move. That’s exactly what was explored during one of our many customer panels at QlikWorld Online 2021, titled “Data Analytics and SaaS Adoption,” which included:
- Denise LaForgia, Director of Product Marketing at Qlik and the panel moderator;
- Benedikt Horneber, Senior IT Manager at Siemens Healthineers, a leading medical technology company headquartered in Germany;
- J.M. Benedetto, Chief Data Officer at Leroy Merlin, a major home improvement and living environment company based in France;
- David Cox, Founder of FirmoGraphs, a business intelligence (BI) and data science firm specializing in the North American heavy infrastructure markets; and
- Mark Rokoff, Senior Vice President, Environment: Market Sector Director, Energy at AECOM, a premier, multinational infrastructure consulting firm headquartered in Los Angeles, which delivers professional services throughout project lifecycles.
Why SaaS for Analytics?
One of the primary motives in moving to SaaS noted by the panelists was the ability to eliminate resource and time commitments related to infrastructure management and maintenance. Benedetto noted that SaaS helped to ensure that his company, Leroy Merlin, was expanding its analytics use footprint and impact, bringing its value to the edge of the organization for users at every level. Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS enabled Leroy Merlin to easily increase its number of analytics users, without the burden and expense of creating additional virtual machines to handle increased traffic. “We didn’t have to spend time focusing on infrastructure,” remarked Benedetto. “We only had to focus on bringing data to the business and creating value.”
FirmoGraphs’ David Cox had a similar experience. As a BI provider to the North American Utility and Industrial markets, it was much easier to scale analytics with clients through SaaS instead of individually hosted application instances. With Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS taking over hosting responsibilities, FirmoGraphs has more time and bandwidth to deliver value to its customers in the form of quicker, faster and more cost-efficient service. “Qlik really allowed us to eliminate a lot of headaches about hosting and all the related infrastructure issues,” noted Cox. “We are a BI company; we provide market insights. The better we’re able to do that, the more support we can give to our clients.” Rokoff, a FirmoGraphs' customer, echoed his sentiments, adding that as an end-user, having the ability to source BI efficiently helped him and his team maintain a leadership role internally and in the market.
At Siemens Healthineers, the organization was fast approaching the limits of its on-prem infrastructure, so a cloud-based SaaS environment seemed like a natural choice. “Though we have not officially rolled out SaaS yet, I feel that the speed it promises, as well as the availability and scalability will really help us both align with our SaaS cloud strategy – which is now in effect for all new IT setups – and move us into the next phase of our evolution, enabling us to modernize our analytics approach,” elaborated Horneber.
The Value of SaaS
SaaS makes it easier and seamless for FirmoGraphs to share timely data updates to clients, and with new Qlik Sense features and patches automatically applied, there’s no need for “any extra communication,” remarked Cox. “Our users can just go on with their work without any delays or explanations about what’s changed.” Rokoff made the point that having a SaaS analytics environment gave AECOM the ability to have truly enhanced working sessions with their own clients. AECOM consultants can now pull up dashboards in real time, apply filters and preferences to narrow in on a dataset, or introduce hypotheticals to see how counterfactuals might impact a construction timeline or project design. Rokoff and Cox both noted that version control issues were virtually eliminated with SaaS, assuring that everyone was working from a single source of truth.
Benedetto underscored how SaaS really drove data literacy throughout his organization. By enabling business-focused employees to concentrate on building reports on their own, and the more technical staff to focus on data science initiatives, Leroy Merlin’s human capital and talent was freed to focus on what they do best.
For Horneber, the movement into a cloud-based analytics solution couldn’t happen soon enough. Having a fast-performing, scalable environment that works well – at all times, for all employees, from any device, anytime, and anywhere – this is what success looks like for Siemens Healthineers. “Qlik Sense Enterprise SaaS has so many features, all at the ready, and Qlik keeps adding more,” Horneber remarked. “I am also looking forward to less downtime, fewer delays in getting dashboards operational and bringing full connectivity to our internal databases. That will be a homerun for us.”
Overcoming Challenges in Moving to SaaS
Leroy Merlin’s leadership was leery of changing their existing business practice of having their apps on premise, even though they were onerously large. Benedetto made sure to work with Qlik to develop a defined business case, showcasing how a SaaS-based model for analytics would be less expensive, easier to manage and promote increased app use across the company. Benedetto was also able to endorse Qlik’s strong data security and privacy protocols. “As the person in charge of information security, it’s obvious that we needed a solution that is well governed. Qlik provided that in ways that even surpassed what we had in place,” noted Benedetto.
As a healthcare company, security at Siemens Healthineers is of utmost importance. A complex web of rules and regulations dominate the company’s industry. At the outset, there were some notable compliance issues around implementing a SaaS environment. However, Qlik’s R&D and customer success teams worked – and continue to work – closely with Siemens Healthineers to match their needs, and Horneber is confident that the final deployment will fulfill all requirements for storing even the most sensitive, internal data, such as financial targets and future planning data.
SaaS-powered analytics is where every company should be right now, and Qlik is helping its customers get there sooner, no matter the industry or challenges faced. Let us help your organization get there, so you can achieve the fullest possible value for your business with analytics. For more on Qlik’s modern analytics platform, which supports a full range of users and use-cases across the lifecycle from data to insight – be it through self-service analytics, interactive dashboards, conversational analytics, custom and embedded analytics, mobile analytics, reporting and alerting – check out Qlik Sense | Data Analytics Platform or sign up for a trial at Qlik Sense Free Trial | Qlik.
In the meantime, check out the QlikWorld Online 2021 panel by clicking here.