CeBIT 2014: Software Product Companies are Moving to the Cloud

08 Apr, 2014
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CeBIT 2014 lived up to all the expectations surrounding it from IT companies across the world, attracting over 210,000 visitors during the exhibition. As has been widely reported, Oliver Frese, the Deutsche Messe managing board member in charge of CeBIT confirmed that 25 billion Euros worth of business had been negotiated at CeBIT this year which is 25% over last year’s figures.

One of the biggest themes at CeBIT this year, and of particular interest to us, was business in the Cloud. Various keynote speakers emphasized that it was crucial that IT companies start to seriously think on the lines of moving to the cloud, building into it and efficiently tapping all the potential there is within the cloud.

In recent times, SaaS has become a common delivery model for many business applications, including Office & Messaging software, DBMS software, Management software, Development, ERP, CRM and several others. Several services such as SAP, BPMS, DBMS, Email and SMS from Independent Service Vendors are integrated to work together to provide specific solutions to the end user. The user has access to a cloud based solution at his fingers tips where he can interact with a complex structure and get his work done with just a simple request without having to worry about where the structure is hosted or integrated.

Migrating to a SaaS business model which is often mistakenly viewed as just a technology choice can get fairly complicated as it’s more than just shifting technologies. Infact, it  impacts everything in your business and operations. The challenge of most ISVs that are looking to migrate to the cloud is to be able to contain the risks associated with the move. Making the right technology choices as part of the overall view in business model change is therefore a difficult task. For those with existing on-premise software, the decision can get more complicated because they need to consider how their products would fit into the cloud, how much of the existing code can be retained and various other factors.  Integrating systems from different Independent Service Vendors is very crucial. For instance, SAP systems from one service provider, Google Docs from Google, iTunes from Apple, SMS services from Virgin, Email services from Yahoo, Data services from Amazon and so on. The development team should have proficiency in integrating all these different systems into a single one-point solution for the end user.

As we engaged with various attendees and exhibitors at CeBIT, we discovered that while indeed, more and more IT companies are looking to SaaSify their products, they were opting for an ODC (Offshore Development Center) to help them make the transition and manage their risks in doing so. For an ISV that is looking to partner for migrating to the cloud, it is really crucial that they ensure that a few key strategies are applied.  We’ve jotted down a checklist for your SaaS enablement approach:

  1. Understand the product vision very clearly, have it properly derived from the changed views on the overall business model and have a clear definition of the requirements
  2. Analyze requirements and conduct a cloud fitment analysis linked to the business strategy to determine cloud readiness. After the analysis, create a strategy for SaaSifying existing software products
  3. Analyze reusability of components if moving an on-premise product to cloud and also, assign a procedure to redevelop the other required components
  4. Build flow charts to define and understand the design approach
  5. Build POC (proof of concepts) and replace systems if necessary
  6. Finalize architectural decision and produce a blue print
  7. Form a consulting team with high system expertise and ensure that each system expert consulting team is working together in order to successfully integrate each service in the cloud
  8. Realization and deployment after testing all new applications for reliability, portability and multi-tenancy and conducting UAT (User Acceptance Testing)

There are several tools available to help the development team stay in track, collaborate, code and ship products. A few of these are Atlassian JIRA, Confluence, Bit Bucket and so on. Using cloud services to build cloud based solutions is how winning is done!

Are you ready to take on the cloud?

Next Steps
We recently conducted a survey on Cloud/SaaS adoption by ISVs. We have compiled the results from this survey into an informative report that will help guide your decision on switching to the Cloud.


Steven ten Napel, CEO
Steven is a co-founder and CEO of coMakeIT. He has extensive experience in setting up and managing large scale, distributed development centers for global technology companies across Europe, North America, and India

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