Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: William Schmarzo, Kevin Jackson, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, David H Deans

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Article

Nine Things Cloud ISVs Should Do Next

ISVs are in different business situations with respect to exploiting the cloud benefits fully; and one size seldom fits all

The proliferation of cloud technologies can be seen through the increasing number of cloud ISVs that are leveraging cloud either by changing the underlying computing model or by completely redoing their product offerings. This number is already bordering on hundreds and quickly headed for thousands as the cloud opens new avenues for businesses and consumers alike. Many business domains are already neatly served through cloud ISVs, sometimes very innovatively. Predominantly, areas like HR, marketing, CRM, collaboration, business intelligence, accounting, financial practices, ecommerce and content management have many options already.

ISVs are using cloud models differently and are at different stages of enablement. Some have reused existing tools and features to re-platform products, some are using cloud services to complement the product while others have built products ground up afresh or are using cloud to host and manage service delivery better. Some are testing the waters by embracing cloud partially and some are neck deep betting on it completely. Different ISVs are in different business situations with respect to fully exploiting the cloud benefits. Based on observations so far, here are nine things ISVs can look at doing next. A few of these may be obvious for some, but these steps could be critical for future business. One size seldom fits all. ISVs need to map their current situation and decide what fits them well and in what order.

The first one is a no-brainer, and especially for cloud ISVs - expand your delivery through web-enabled SaaS applications through public platforms. This step is for those ISVs that still have web-based traditional products. Lack of scale and elasticity drives the need to use public cloud platforms to remodel the product to provide a multi-tenant environment. There are efforts and challenges involved to doing this and in some cases it may not even make sense, which is where an ISV needs market as well as technology insight and judgement. Technology challenges include choosing the right cloud platform that will add value to product offerings, understanding the caveats of cloud platform architectures, services and best practices; delivering true multi-tenant architecture across layers, ensuring that cloud interoperability and portability is taken care of; plugging in business support services and plumbing them together. At the same time there are very appealing business propositions for taking this step - such as opening new opportunities, addressing new customer segments, creating new revenue models and providing scale to the business.

Two - enable thick-client desktop products for agility and to maximize delivery - similar to the cloud service model. One approach to doing this is to redesign the product and then build the product to be a web-enabled SaaS architecture. However, efforts to rebuild the product with a new stack and architecture could be significant, and this may not fly in some cases. The promising alternative is to package a thick-client desktop product, creating virtual bundles and then deliver these virtual bundles using VDI-like technologies that exist in the market today. VDI solutions can add cost and complexity for ISVs to deliver desktop products in a service-oriented manner - but there are very interesting options in the client-side virtualization space that can complement VDI and simplify the agile delivery of desktop products. Another key benefit to this is that it enables control of the delivery of thick-client applications for usage and maintenance.

Three - enhance the engineering productivity for building and testing your product with multiple services and environments. Cost and go-to-market deadlines puts constant pressure on ISVs to improve engineering productivity that warrants delivering and managing services and environments to developers effectively. Here some of the existing frameworks come in handy when creating a Platform as a Service-like private environment to meet both ends. Engineering teams can then better utilize available resources to develop, deploy and test applications nearly on-demand; and also leverage public, private and hybrid cloud environments to optimize the cost and resources.

Four - optimize the product to be able to deliver via a ‘custom workspace' approach. Enterprise customers are demanding a mechanism for products and applications to be able to give identical product experience to users across devices and locations. This means a user should able to pretty much carry his/her workspace of customized apps, configurations and data anywhere s/he goes and also should able to access his/her own workspace using any device s/he has access to. This is very different from virtual desktop delivery though as the device being used for accessing the workspace lends out the computing power here.

Five - broaden the ISV market through multiple clouds or hosting providers. For accelerated sales ISVs need multiple product delivery channels exposed through multiple catalogues - so this becomes an interesting option. However, ISV products traditionally are not cloud aware and hence optimization can turn into real overhead at times. Every new cloud or hosting platform complicates deployment, configurations and automation support for a given ISV product. This compels ISVs to do standardized packaging that will generate reusable preconfigured cloud installers that will also simplify integration, automation and provisioning in various hosting environments. This can also ease out IT management for enterprises that are using ISV products in heterogeneous scenarios.

Six - invest in consistent and repeatable product engineering best practices tailored for cloud products. The business environment is getting too competitive for ISVs and is leading to the stressful situation of managing trade-offs between three inevitable dimensions - time, quality and cost. Managing product environments like development, quality assurance, staging and production across multiple product releases means teams are neck deep into release cycles all the time. Surely, cloud becomes a viable option to optimize on resources and cost, saving time; but managing a variety of hosting providers and tools nullifies the benefits to some extent and is challenging as well. To avoid getting into this trap ISVs should invest in tailoring cloud product engineering best practices that maintain real-time visibility and also help leverage public, private and hybrid cloud platforms to optimize the cost and scale. These specialized best practices should also help reduce efforts on operations and improve quality of service.

Seven - identify and develop integrations with cloud ecosystem partners. Enterprise customers today aren't satisfied with products and features alone. They are looking for solutions that can solve their business or process problems fully or at least sizeably. That means for ISVs to be able to go the distance, they need to either build solutions themselves or become part of potential solutions. Integration with other cloud ecosystem partners is the way to go. ISVs can map the customer problems to the right ecosystem players with compelling products; evaluate joint synergies and integrate features and tools; and then test the market to evolve the right solution. This road is certainly not without challenges. You need the right team with diverse cloud platform and product engineering backgrounds that can manage the trade-offs between security and product integrations, enhancements, APIs exposure, connectors and mediation tools, beyond the ability to visualize the broader use cases.

Eight - carve out your space. Customers expect ISVs to own the problems they have, keep the product and/or solution working, and manage and support it for varying environments and needs. Support for multiple clouds and virtual environments, or making complex consolidations to support different integration scenarios through the disparate set of tools for management and monitoring are just some of the demands that can surface. These expectations can impinge on and ISV's capabilities and negatively affect bandwidth, focus and cost. ISVs need to create a space to focus on what they are best at - innovating and experimenting with their products while strategically leveraging platform and operations specialists who can help share the load and help the ISV maintain a competitive edge. However, ISVs need to select their partners carefully - it's not just about professional services anymore - partners needs to increase an ISV's reach and respect within and outside the cloud ecosystem.

Nine - don't just stop at having a great cloud product, build on your offering. Look beyond cloud to integration, device enablement, analytics and social collaboration to develop solutions that not only address today's customer, but also target future customers and help build the business through connections, feedback and technology. ISVs need to develop strong and, more important, working strategies like device enablement of products, platforms for near real-time visibility and enhancing techno-social-awareness ahead of time if they are to generate mass adoption.

What else do you think cloud ISVs should do?

More Stories By Jiten Patil

Jiten Patil is Principal Technology Consultant & Cloud Expert, CTO Office, at Persistent Systems Limited, a global leader in software product development and services. He has 15 years of industry experience and has spent the past 6 years working with cloud service providers, ISVs and enterprises in the field of SaaS, IaaS, PaaS and hybrid cloud computing solutions. His key expertise is in guiding organizations for cloud strategy and roadmap, solution architecting for public & private application services, platform services, multi-tenancy methodologies, application enablement and migration, devising new cloud solutions, tools and IP products, and doing competitive assessment across cloud technologies. He can be reached at [email protected] / Twitter @jiten_patil

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
"We are a monitoring company. We work with Salesforce, BBC, and quite a few other big logos. We basically provide monitoring for them, structure for their cloud services and we fit into the DevOps world" explained David Gildeh, Co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, pane...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley which will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is at the intersection of technology and business-optimizing tools, organizations and processes to bring measurable improvements in productivity and profitability," said Aruna Ravichandran, vice president, DevOps product and solutions marketing...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
What's the role of an IT self-service portal when you get to continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code? This general session showed how to create the continuous delivery culture and eight accelerators for leading the change. Don Demcsak is a DevOps and Cloud Native Modernization Principal for Dell EMC based out of New Jersey. He is a former, long time, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, specializing in building and architecting Application Delivery Pipelines for hybrid legacy, and cloud ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to ma...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.