|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.
Compute virtualization has been transformational, yet security policy implementation and enforcement has lagged behind in agility and automation. There are a number of key considerations when implementing policy in private and hybrid clouds. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Holland Barry, VP of Technology at Catbird, will discuss the impact of this new paradigm and what organizations can do today to safely move to software-defined network and compute architectures, including: How normal ope...
Oct. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,217
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: S...
Oct. 23, 2014 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,440
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff hap...
Oct. 23, 2014 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,501
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accel...
Oct. 23, 2014 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,510
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customiz...
Oct. 23, 2014 05:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,448
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
Oct. 22, 2014 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,338
SYS-CON Events announced today that ElasticBox is holding a Hackathon at DevOps Summit, November 6 from 12 pm -4 pm at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. You can enter as an individual or team of up to 10 developers. A New Star Is Born Every Month! All completed ElasticBoxes will then be sent to a judging panel - 12 winners will be featured on the ElasticBox website in 2015. All entrants will receive five full enterprise licenses for one year + ElasticBox headphones + Elasti...
Oct. 22, 2014 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,496
Once the decision has been made to move part or all of a workload to the cloud, a methodology for selecting that workload needs to be established. How do you move to the cloud? What does the discovery, assessment and planning look like? What workloads make sense? Which cloud model makes sense for each workload? What are the considerations for how to select the right cloud model? And how does that fit in with the overall IT tranformation? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, John Hatem, head of V...
Oct. 22, 2014 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,519
Cloud services are the newest tool in the arsenal of IT products in the market today. These cloud services integrate process and tools. In order to use these products effectively, organizations must have a good understanding of themselves and their business requirements. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Brian Lewis, Principal Architect at Verizon Cloud, will outline key areas of organizational focus, and how to formalize an actionable plan when migrating applications and internal services to...
Oct. 22, 2014 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,530
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, will discuss how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP ...
Oct. 22, 2014 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,625
Ixia develops amazing products so its customers can connect the world. Ixia helps its customers provide an always-on user experience through fast, secure delivery of dynamic connected technologies and services. Through actionable insights that accelerate and secure application and service delivery, Ixia's customers benefit from faster time to market, optimized application performance and higher-quality deployments.
Oct. 21, 2014 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,486
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calm.io has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of DevOps Summit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calm.io is a cloud orchestration platform for AWS, vCenter, OpenStack, or bare metal, that runs your CL tools puppet, Chef, shell, git, Jenkins, nagios, and will soon support New Relic and Docker. It can run hosted, or on premise and provides VM automation / expiry, self-service portals,...
Oct. 21, 2014 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,424
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, will focus on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud pla...
Oct. 21, 2014 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,507
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue bu...
Oct. 21, 2014 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,448
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce t...
Oct. 21, 2014 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,529
As Platform as a Service (PaaS) matures as a category, developers should have the ability to use the programming language of their choice to build applications and have access to a wide array of services. Bluemix is IBM's open cloud development platform that enables users to easily build cloud-based, creative mobile and web applications without having to spend large amounts of time and resources on configuring infrastructure and multiple software licenses. In this track, you will learn about the...
Oct. 21, 2014 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,515
Blue Box has closed a $10 million Series B financing. The round was led by a strategic investor and included participation from prior investors including Voyager Capital and Founders Collective, as well as the Blue Box executive team. This round follows a $4.3 million Series A closed in December of 2012 and led by Voyager Capital. In May of this year, the company announced general availability of its private cloud as a service offering, Blue Box Cloud. Since that release, the company has dem...
Oct. 21, 2014 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,584
SYS-CON Events announced today that Verizon has been named "Gold Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and move society forward. With industry-specific solutions and a full range of global wholesale offerings provided over the company's secure mobility, cloud, strategic network...
Oct. 21, 2014 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,640
SimpleECM is the only platform to offer a powerful combination of enterprise content management (ECM) services, capture solutions, and third-party business services providing simplified integrations and workflow development for solution providers. SimpleECM is opening the market to businesses of all sizes by reinventing the delivery of ECM services. Our APIs make the development of ECM services simple with the use of familiar technologies for a frictionless integration directly into web applicat...
Oct. 20, 2014 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,738
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic...
Oct. 20, 2014 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,091