itdesign Clarity SaaS | Three Customer Questions & Answers

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Clarity SaaS: Answers to the 3 Most Common Questions from Our Customers

Data security, costs, and internal IT: We address your questions and uncertainties about Clarity in the cloud.

January 11, 2021

Clarity, SaaS, SaaS

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Cloud applications have become such a part of our everyday life that as users, we often do not even realize when we are doing things in the cloud. Our daily routine includes working with Office 365 and applications like Microsoft Teams. Even when it comes to private apps, we will often use Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) without even thinking about it.

Despite the well-known benefits of a SaaS solution, not all customers operate their Clarity PPM in the cloud, and the “SaaS versus on-premise” debate is a complex one. Many questions remain unanswered. If you’re running an On-Premise Clarity today and thinking about implementing a SaaS solution, this article will help you as well as your stakeholders make an informed decision.

Is Our Data Actually Safe in the Cloud?

One of the most important issues when it comes to the cloud is data security. You will undoubtedly have confidential data at your company that you must protect. You may be reluctant to leave it in the wrong hands. Such data may include company secrets, research and development information, or personal data. Storing this data in a potential SaaS solution abroad is simply out of the question. Not all countries have data protection laws that are as strict as those that are in place in Germany. Such a lack of alternatives means that plans to possibly implement a SaaS solution somewhere else can never even be considered in the first place.

In our experience, in addition to rational arguments, emotional factors (gut feeling) also influence the cloud debate. Companies want to retain complete control over their data, no matter what the cost. And rightly so. After all, who can guarantee that the data won’t fall into the wrong hands? What happens to the data if you end up changing your mind or canceling a particular service? Can you really trust your service provider to properly delete your data?

With itdesign Clarity SaaS, Your Data Is as Secure as It Can Possibly Be

With our itdesign Clarity SaaS solution, your data is as secure as it can be. That’s because we developed this solution specifically to respond to the concerns and questions that some of our customers have voiced. We want you to be able to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud and to be successful and competitive in the long run. We don’t want you to feel like your data is in the wrong hands. You should be confident that you have entrusted it to someone you can trust. To earn this trust, we do everything in our power to offer our customers the greatest possible security.

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As we mentioned earlier, for most of our customers, the location of the data center is crucial. And who and which locations are allowed access to the data in your system are even more important. Broadcom’s Clarity SaaS solution has therefore not been a viable option for many. The Google Cloud data centers are located in Frankfurt (Germany), but support requests, upgrades and patches are processed by employees located in third countries. These countries may have less developed data protection laws.

But with itdesign Clarity SaaS it is different: Your data is stored in a German data center in Frankfurt on Amazon Web Services (AWS) servers. All itdesign employees with access to your system, including the development and support team, work at our German location. Your data – whether it be personal information or trade secrets – is therefore protected at all times by applicable German laws.

Data security is also very important to us, which is why itdesign Clarity SaaS has been certified in accordance with ISO/IEC 27001:2013 since August 2019. We stringently adhere to high security standards, including not just when working on in-house projects, but also when collaborating with partners. That’s why we prefer to work with the state-of-the-art hosting provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) and take advantage of its extensive portfolio of security certifications.

To eliminate human errors, we have developed an automated and standardized security process that we maintain continuously when working with your application. If you want to cancel your system or hosting with us, our deletion certification guarantees that your data will be deleted at your request. So you retain full control over your data at all times.

Our Data Security Measures at a Glance

  • ISO-certified partner: Data security is extremely important to us, which is why our itdesign SaaS solution for Clarity PPM has been ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certified since August 2019.
  • German data center: Because your data is stored at Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Frankfurt, it is subject to the data protection laws in force in Germany.
  • Certified hosting provider: We host your data with the service provider Amazon Web Services (AWS), so you get the benefit of its tested security concept that has been certified multiple times.
  • Premium support in Germany: Our support team in Germany can assist you in either English or Germany. Rest assured that your system will only be accessed from Germany.
  • Technical and organizational measures: For your maximum protection, we keep our TOMS up to date and review them continuously.
  • Highest standard security process: We have developed an automated and standardized security process that eliminates the possibility of human error. We are constantly working to develop it further.
  • Encryption: We adhere to a standard of SSL encryption.
  • Deletion certification upon cancellation: You retain complete control over your data at all times. If you want to cancel your system or hosting with us, we will delete all data at your request.
  • Individual agreements: Depending on what is important to you and the relevant environmental parameters, we will be happy to conclude customized agreements with you to ensure the secure connection of your third-party systems, for example.

Is a SaaS Solution More Expensive Than an On-Premise Installation?

If you look purely at the license costs, you may quickly come to the conclusion that a SaaS solution is more expensive than the On-Premise version. But it is not that simple. Whether or not it makes sense financially to host Clarity outside of your own company depends on many factors. You will use different services depending on which deployment option you choose. With the On-Premise model, you purchase the licenses only, but when you opt for the itdesign Clarity SaaS package, it will include all hosting and operation services as well.

In the End, the Total Cost of Your On-Premise Solution May Be Higher Than You Think

For many of our customers, it is the issue of cost that initially triggers a discussion about whether or not they should switch from On-Premise to SaaS. It is important that the internal IT processes be streamlined, expenses be reduced, and hardware be conserved. If high license costs are cited as a counter-argument against Clarity SaaS, however, you may also fail to take into account all of the relevant costs of the existing On-Premise solution. This is frequently the case because they are more difficult to measure and are often not transparent.

As a Clarity On-Premise customer, you would already have set up the necessary infrastructure. But this requires ongoing support. Maintenance is your own responsibility, and your IT department must maintain hardware, databases, and operating systems as well as the software itself. At the same time, you must also provide your development service provider with access.

The opaque but considerable internal expenses are even more significant. In addition to the time spent by your IT department, On-Premise customers often complain about the time that is required to coordinate between internal contact persons and different departments or service providers. For any questions or requirements you may have, you are simply referred to one contact person after the other. You end up spending a lot of time just looking for the right person to talk to. Sometimes you have to settle for long waiting times until internal bottleneck resources are available.

Our recommendation: Make sure you consider the Total Cost of Ownership of an On-Premise solution when making your cost assessment. In addition to the purchase price of the licenses, this would include the hardware, maintenance, databases, and operating systems running costs, as well as personnel expenses. Also, don’t forget about the opportunity cost of missing upgrades. Experience has shown that software upgrades are done less frequently for On-Premise installations due to a lack of internal IT capacities, among other factors. So your users are constantly missing out on new features that your competitors may have been benefiting from for a long time already.

Total Cost of Ownership for an On-Premise Solution for Clarity

On-Premise costs may seem lower at first glance, but this can be deceptive if you neglect to consider all the relevant factors. So remember to take the Total Cost of Ownership of an On-Premise solution into account:

  • License costs for software and database
  • Running costs for license maintenance
  • Hardware costs
  • Personnel costs
    • Operation and maintenance expenses
    • Communication with various contact persons
    • Need to continuously stay on top of the latest knowledge
  • Opportunity costs of missed upgrades and innovations

With the itdesign Clarity SaaS solution, you get an all-round hassle-free package. Experts take over the operation and hosting of your application – with no hidden costs.

Does a SaaS Solution Put Our Internal IT at Risk?

Here’s a statement we often hear: “If we outsource the hosting and operation of Clarity, we are putting our internal IT at risk.” IT employees are typically bottleneck resources and very busy. At the same time, many companies really want to streamline their internal IT processes. So how does running Clarity in the cloud actually affect your IT department?

With Clarity SaaS, You Free Up Capacity So That Your IT People Can Focus on Other Things

Switching to Clarity SaaS doesn’t mean that now all of a sudden your IT employees no longer have anything to do. Quite the opposite: There is merely a shift in their job responsibilities.

The only difference is that now you have a specialized service provider taking care of the Clarity administration, which may previously have taken up a lot of time and been a source of stress. Maintenance, upgrades, and hardware are now itdesign’s responsibility. Your IT is no longer responsible for operating the application and now has more capacity to devote itself to other strategically relevant topics that drive your company forward. Your constantly bottlenecked resources are also given some relief. You can think of it this way: You are leaving Clarity to an external expert, and your internal resources can focus on other projects that simply cannot be outsourced as easily.

Benefits of a SaaS Solution for Your Internal IT

  • Responsibilities are shifted
  • A specialized service provider relieves your bottleneck resources
  • Your IT is free to carry out other strategically relevant projects
David Chiumento, Senior Consultant PPM itdesign
About the author | David Chiumento, Senior Consultant PPM
As a senior PPM consultant, David Chiumento has been assisting Clarity customers with everything from implementation and setup to the development of additional features for the software for eight years now. He also advises on how to switch from On-Premise to SaaS. His unofficial title is the “good mood manager” thanks to his ability to always promote a positive attitude and motivate others. The figures tell the story: Our customer survey results show that David’s Clarity customers have the highest satisfaction rate. David is also known for his humor and quick wit among his colleagues. But don’t make the mistake of messing with him — the man has a black belt in Karate!

All Stakeholders Can Benefit from Clarity SaaS

In addition to IT staff, the itdesign Clarity SaaS solution also affords users, executives, the overall organization, as well as application owners with benefits. Find the key advantages in this article.

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itdesign Clarity SaaS: Hosting & Operation for Your Clarity

itdesign is your partner for everything involving your Clarity PPM: We take care of the hosting and operation for your application as well. Learn more about our SaaS services in this document.

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Do You Have Any Further Questions?

We would be happy to have a conversation with you about what migrating your system to the cloud could look like, and answer any questions you may have.

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David Chiumento

Senior PPM Consultant

+49 7071 3667 60
ppm@itdesign.de

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