On his Google+ page, Eric Schmidt, the Chairman writes
“Like the people who moved from PCs to Macs and never switched back, you will switch from iPhone to Android and never switch back as everything will be in the cloud, backed up, and there are so many choices for you.”
and proceeds to provide a page long script of steps to make the switch.
For a few years now I have wondered why SaaS vendors (and by that I also include products like Oracle Fusion and SAP BYD) do not make switching from last-gen software this mindless – or at least not as dependent on service providers.
The source file formats (PeopleSoft, SAP, Lawson etc) are fairly well defined, integration of legacy systems with the destination has been done at thousands of sites, training modules and test plans can be leveraged from so many predecessor projects. Many of these steps should already have being codified – so come to a new project as “service-as-a-software”.
For many SaaS projects, the initial migration cost and risk is a ROI killer and a major gating factor. There may be other reasons not to move – the SaaS alternative may not be as functionally risk, there are cloud security concerns, or the customer is happy with the as-is (like my family is with the iPhone). But after years of SaaS projects, the mechanical migration should not be a gating factor.
Don’t forget Eric is asking individual consumers to do the steps themselves, maybe with help of a Verizon or Sprint rep. In a SaaS migration you will have plenty of IT, vendor and SI resources involved. So, given the level of professional talent involved, the normalized complexity is not that significantly higher.