|By Eric Farrar||
|February 8, 2012 06:00 AM EST||
Interest in cloud-based applications continues apace, but hosting can be a complicated endeavor for ISVs.
The enduring popularity of Software-as-a-service (SaaS) isn't accidental. Whether you're a technology reseller or a traditional enterprise, there's a lot to like about the use of a service model for software delivery, including low monthly cost, fast time-to-market and few deployment hiccups. But SaaS does not reward all organizations equally.
Unfortunately for ISVs, who fall on the 'delivery' side of the service-delivery relationship, the benefits of SaaS are tempered by risks. The nature of being an ISV complicates many decisions about technology and some of these will be amplified when ISVs move toward SaaS delivery. In order to make a smooth transition, ISVs must develop a strategy in full recognition of these unique challenges.
ISVs Are Different
Business has never been a one-size-fits-all proposition. The software industry is no exception. Simply put, ISVs have challenges that other companies don't. Here's a few of the ways in which ISVs are different:
- They must anticipate what customers will want and try to accommodate as many of these options as possible. Narrow solutions yield limited revenue.
- They must be prepared to accommodate special changes and customization, especially from high-value accounts.
- Because solutions frequently transact data from many different customers (and those customers are often close competitors), ISVs must pay extra heed to security to vouchsafe data seclusion.
- They must be sure that the technologies they use will be relevant and supportable indefinitely.
Enterprises, which can concentrate on consuming technology rather than provisioning it, can usually absorb the consequences of the occasional short-sighted decision without too much pain. Rewriting an ill-conceived software application is something they can do behind the scenes, while treading water with the sub-optimal system in the meantime. They can even decide to outsource that function on a temporary basis.
ISVs, on the other hand, can rarely afford to back pedal their technology choices. A full rewrite of any customer-facing software system means taking their foot off the gas, the impact of which goes straight to the bottom line. Worse, there is little way to obscure such mistakes from the notice of customers. When ISVs guess wrong about technology, both short-term revenue and long-term reputation are equally at risk. And not everyone will get the opportunity to recoup those losses.
Into the Cloud
The unique challenges faced by ISVs are not new and most ISV executives are well aware of them. But as market pressure and customer demand for SaaS-based applications increase, it can be easy to lose sight of the importance of planning a strategy with these challenges in mind.
Most ISVs are struggling to get to market quickly so they can keep pace with early competitors. With time short, architectural decision planning is curtailed. And the desire to avoid taking on unfamiliar technical competencies, such as server management, become important decision criteria. As a result, the driving importance of customer concerns, such as functionality and customization, as well as control and flexibility over central business assets is being compromised.
Finally, there are new entanglements that arise with hosting, many of which directly conflict with the pressure on ISVs to make broad, inclusive architectural choices. These include:
- Physical location of data: Many customers will be subject to regulatory or policy requirements related to the physical storage of data. For example, they may require storage only within national boundaries or to be able to identify the exact server machines where data is stored. For the organizations that have them, these requirements are deal-breakers.
- Security of data in shared databases: Traditional installed applications have naturally isolated data repositories, and thus do not pose the same risk that data could be leaked outside of the organization. Shared storage architectures are simply too risky for some customers.
- Limitations on customization: Customers will not cease to request customizations simply because their application has moved to the cloud. Will your new infrastructure support your need to customize applications and databases on a customer-by-customer basis? If you don't do it, a competitor will.
- Supplier vulnerability: ISVs choose suppliers and technologies carefully to minimize their risk exposure to deprecation or loss of support. It may be tempting to choose a cloud infrastructure provider such as Salesforce Force.com or Microsoft Azure in order to keep from absorbing expensive new burdens related to data center maintenance, but these platforms are outside of your control. Hinging your revenue on the indefinite cooperation and success of a third party may be unnecessarily reckless.
Caution and Control
There is much to love about being in the business of helping companies solve their technology problems but, sadly, ISVs have precious little freedom to experiment. They must exercise extraordinary caution when changing tactics. The move toward SaaS-based application delivery is without question one of those times. Those that move ahead on a SaaS initiative without being mindful of the challenges will put key customers and future revenue at risk.
As you move applications to the cloud, give yourself ample time now to choose the architectures, technologies and suppliers that will help you maintain both flexibility and consummate control of your business.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
May. 27, 2016 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,275
The pace of innovation, vendor lock-in, production sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and managing risk… In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dan Choquette, Founder of RackN, will discuss how CIOs are challenged finding the balance of finding the right tools, technology and operational model that serves the business the best. He will discuss how clouds, open source software and infrastructure solutions have benefits but also drawbacks and how workload and operational portability between vendors...
May. 27, 2016 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,857
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
May. 27, 2016 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,478
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
May. 27, 2016 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,185
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
May. 27, 2016 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,385
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
May. 27, 2016 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 754
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
May. 27, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,905
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
May. 27, 2016 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,854
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
May. 27, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,311
Enterprise networks are complex. Moreover, they were designed and deployed to meet a specific set of business requirements at a specific point in time. But, the adoption of cloud services, new business applications and intensifying security policies, among other factors, require IT organizations to continuously deploy configuration changes. Therefore, enterprises are looking for better ways to automate the management of their networks while still leveraging existing capabilities, optimizing perf...
May. 27, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,303
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's [email protected] at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, high-productivity enterprise web applications for any device. SmartClient couples the industry’s broadest, deepest UI component set with a java server framework to deliver an end-...
May. 27, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,159
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
May. 27, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,145
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
May. 27, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,038
How will your company move to the cloud while ensuring a solid security posture? Organizations from small to large are increasingly adopting cloud solutions to deliver essential business services at a much lower cost. According to cyber security experts, the frequency and severity of cyber-attacks are on the rise, causing alarm to businesses and customers across a variety of industries. To defend against exploits like these, a company must adopt a comprehensive security defense strategy that is ...
May. 27, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 389
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
May. 27, 2016 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,570
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
May. 27, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,203
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
May. 27, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,129
The cloud era has reached the stage where it is no longer a question of whether a company should migrate, but when. Enterprises have embraced the outsourcing of where their various applications are stored and who manages them, saving significant investment along the way. Plus, the cloud has become a defining competitive edge. Companies that fail to successfully adapt risk failure. The media, of course, continues to extol the virtues of the cloud, including how easy it is to get there. Migrating...
May. 27, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 439
As machines are increasingly connected to the internet, it’s becoming easier to discover the numerous ways Industrial IoT (IIoT) is helping to shape the business world. This is exactly why we have decided to take a closer look at this pervasive movement and to examine the desire to connect more things! Now if you need a refresher on IIoT and how it is changing the world, take a moment and listen to Greg Gorbach with ARC Advisory Group. Gorbach believes, "IIoT will significantly change the worl...
May. 27, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,934
SYS-CON Events announced today the Docker Meets Kubernetes – Intro into the Kubernetes World, being held June 9, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Register for 'Docker Meets Kubernetes Workshop' Here! This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, introduces participants to Kubernetes (container orchestration). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, participants learn ...
May. 27, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,969