delivering applications at the speed of cloud

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    THE ISV CHALLENGE Delivering Applications at the

    Speed of Cloud

  • THE ISV CHALLENGE Delivering Applications at the Speed of Cloud


    The promise of cloud computing is to simplify the delivery and the consumption of IT resources for both users and ISVs. The acceleration of cloud computing, particularly in the area of mobile applications, has created an enormous growth opportunity for ISVs. This also has driven a renaissance in the way ISVs develop, deliver and support applications. While application development has always been challenging, developing for cloud brings with it even greater demands in terms of speed of application delivery and user expectations. At the same time, it offers ISVs the opportunity to simplify and standardize in a cloud-based devel-opment model.

    Cloud and mobile computing have changed both the way applications must be delivered and the speed with which developers must provide new functionality and updates. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has revolutionized how the end user pur-chases applications, and also how ISVs develop, deliver and price their software. Much of this is a direct result of the new delivery mechanism of cloud, which often places resources out of the direct control of the user on a shared infra-structure. For ISVs, this introduces any number of complexities, including how to manage licensing and support in a highly distributed environment. Add in the requirement to launch applications from a wide variety of user devices, and you have a development challenge that has never been more complex.

    Cloud is not a panacea. For as many doors as it opens, its promise offers new challenges as well. We operate in a world where users expect to

    access information from wherever they are from whatever device they choose to use. No longer is it acceptable to need to be on the VPN or to be physically in the office to work. Applications must work seamlessly in the cloud with mobile devices and be able to interface with other applications in a way that brings information from multiple data sources together in one application, with an engaging user experience.

    With this challenge comes reward, and the growth opportunity is tremendous. Looking at the cloud market as a whole, Forrester Research notes that the market will grow to greater than $241 billion by the year 2020. As applications are a subset of this market, its hard to predict the exact size of the opportunity. But, according to Gartner Research, nine out of 10 companies plan to grow their use of SaaS-based applications and more than one-third of users are specifically looking at SaaS as a way to reduce the total cost of ownership. The imperative for ISVs to develop with this in mind is immense.

    Key ChallengesISVs face a variety of challenges in getting quality software to users even in a static marketamong them, technology issues such as support and compatibility with legacy systems. While address-ing the basic issues of bringing code to market, ISVs also must have a full understanding of user demands and translate those into a functional specification that meets user requirements. Labor constraints challenge HR departments to find the right talent to address multiplatform requirements and complex security issues, while at the same time operating in a market where its becoming increasingly difficult to find skilled labor.



  • THE ISV CHALLENGE Delivering Applications at the Speed of Cloud


    While cloud is becoming a dominant delivery platform for applications and services, the true challenge for ISVs is not only developing in a new paradigm, but also developing for customers with both cloud and legacy environments. Even as cloud is increasing the pace of change and is a wave for the future, customers must operate in both cloud and on-premises implementations today. Not only must ISVs deliver functionality for all environments, but they must also support the users device of choice, which could be a laptop, tablet or smartphone. This increases both the cost and complexity of development and support.

    An often-missed challenge, which hamstrings development efforts, is the integration of existing or legacy data sources with new applications. With so much attention being paid today to big data and analytics, new applications more and more are integrating with disparate data sources that could be in the cloud or on-premises. Take, for example, an application for processing orders in the field. A user might need to pull data from a clients payment history, contact information from a CRM application in the cloud and access a legacy back-office inventory system to get var-ious stock levelsand do this all at the same time to process an order on a mobile device. Whatever development platform and approach an ISV chooses must address this data integration challenge in a seamless way. Needing to support multiple different tools or platforms for develop-ment and data integration increases the cost and risk associated with delivering applications.

    To meet these challenges, ISVs must leverage a platform, which provides not only flexibility and choice but also one that simplifies and reduces the burdensome aspects of development. ISVs need the option to acquire these benefits while building a customized environment, allowing them to gain more control and offer their cus-tomers the choice to consume software in a traditional on-premises model, hybrid model or the cloud. And, above all, ISVs must avoid getting locked into a single model.

    The Case for PaaSThe software development process itself is incorporate the cloud through the emergence of PaaS, or Platform-as-a-Service, as a way to

    leverage development resources and function-ality as a service without building and owning development infrastructure. PaaS has opened up opportunities for smaller ISVs and dramatically increased the speed by which applications can come to market.

    Until recently, PaaS has been the smallest of the cloud based as-a-service segments, but new research shows that its seeing a surge, driven by the need to create customized applications more quickly, optimized for cloud. According to the research firm MarketsandMarkets, the market for PaaS platforms will grow to nearly $7 billion by 2018, a CAGR of 32.5 percent, demonstrating its emerging benefits, popularity and appeal to ISVs. It also represents a growth opportunity for cloud infrastructure providers to offer differentiated services to their existing customers and expand into a new customer base.

    PaaS has become both an equalizer and an enabler for the ISV community. For companies that find themselves presented with a customer that has an unmet need for an application, it pro-vides a vehicle to get applications to market much more quickly, without the onerous investment of purchasing, owning and operating development infrastructure. This means ISVs can emerge in niche markets more quickly, and capitalize on unmet needs that otherwise would have never been addressed by larger development shops.

    In addition, PaaS, by its nature, is a development environment already in the cloud, ready-made for developers to begin working on new applica-tions/apps immediately. ISVs can develop in the cloud, for the cloud. Firms can gain access to a




  • THE ISV CHALLENGE Delivering Applications at the Speed of Cloud


    scale of resources for development purposes pre-viously available to only the largest organizations. Take, for example, software testing. Developers can leverage the scale of cloud resources to test software in environments much larger, and with many more users, than they would be able to create on their own, reducing both the cost of application testing and time-to-market.

    ISVs also will have access to a much broader range of tools, including data integration plat-forms, which in the past might have been much too costly to invest in directly. The same funda-mental cost advantages of renting software vs. buying infrastructure now can apply to the development cycle in the same way they apply to the ISVs use of cloud applicationslower cost, faster time to market and access to better tools.

    Positioned for SuccessWhile the market dynamic for ISVs presents genuine challenges for keeping pace with user demands, it also offers huge opportunities, and many firms have excelled, by adopting these new methods for development. Progress Software is well-positioned to help ISVs succeed.

    With a superior PaaS platform and approach, challenges can become opportunities, and even a competitive advantage. Take, for example, the growth of applications and online services in state and local government. Municipalities all over the country are providing more and more services online and are leveraging big data and analyt-ics to be more in touch with the citizens they serve. Development platforms like PaaS, and, in particular, offerings from Progress Software enable ISVs to deliver new functionality quickly

    to their public- sector clients while minimizing the cost and burden to taxpayers. Jungle Lasers, a firm specializing in SaaS-based cloud applica-tions for municipalities and small businesses, has met this challenge head on with the help of Progress Rollbase, a rapid application develop-ment solution.

    Many of our customers perform the same tasks, such as permit issuance, but they all do it slightly differently, explains Mark Catanese, vice presi-dent of product development for Jungle Lasers. Progress Rollbase was really the perfect fit to allow us not only to create applications very quic


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