A Three-step Plan for ISV Success in the Cloud: Part 1 of 3
With worldwide public IT cloud spending expected to grow six times faster than the overall IT market for the next three years, the cloud model offers Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) an opportunity to capitalize on one of IT’s hottest market opportunities for small businesses and enterprises alike.
However, migrating to the cloud also poses a number of risks and challenges that are quite different from a typical boxed or on-premises solution — challenges that can threaten an ISV’s focus, business model and balance sheet.
This three-part blog series lays out a three-step plan to help ISVs take full advantage of the cloud while avoiding many of the most common adoption obstacles in the process.
Step 1: Differentiation
The largest obstacle ISVs face when considering a migration to the cloud is adopting the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model. It’s a fundamental shift for the ISV, essentially moving from a products business model to a services business model, and it impacts every aspect of the business, from staffing to financing to cash flow.
This services shift can be a massive distraction, taking the ISV’s focus away from its core business — developing software — and diverting it to a whole host of other activities related to the delivery, security, management and monitoring of the software instead.
Whether it’s a traditional ISV transitioning to the cloud or it’s a cloud-native startup, the profitable growth of the business depends on the ISV’s ability to focus on making and selling applications that meet the needs of the target customer better than anyone else.
From a practical standpoint, that means funneling the majority of the company resources to development, marketing and support — and outsourcing the rest.
Cloud management platforms exist to help ISVs do just that. Once the environment has been established, the cloud provider can speed an ISV’s time to market by seamlessly migrating its applications, along with any existing or new customer data. This ensures that any existing Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are maintained throughout, and ISV and customer data remain secure during this critical transition to the cloud.
Outsourcing managed services
Of course, a successful cloud transition is just the first step to becoming a true SaaS provider. The software and data must then be monitored, maintained, secured and backed up on an ongoing basis, scaling ahead of customer demand forecasts.
ISVs looking to avoid this ongoing distraction and financial drain can outsource these activities as well, further honing their focus on delivering superior applications.
The next post will explore the second step in our three-step plan for ISV success in the cloud: Diversification.
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