Mobility, Eco System and Cloud – Challenges and Answers

Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, each one of these companies are constantly changing the nature of how the technology-based products and services are created, consumed and enhanced. As what is said, the change has become the only constant.

There have been three major thought provoking changes and concepts that are acting as catalysts to changes for all businesses in the world, and more specifically for the technology-based service industry.

Mobility

We live in a constantly connected world. The mobile devices, be it phones, tablets or laptops, are all very powerful. These devices are powerful enough such that one can use these to conduct most business effectively, where as in the past desktops and wired phones were the main tools needed to do these tasks effectively.

Gone are the days, when it was acceptable for people to say, “Let me get back to the office, and I will call you.” More than the mobile devices themselves, it is this change of expectation that is a major catalyst to changes. This is forcing all businesses to think seriously about how they extend their systems and services, new or legacy ones, such that their employees and customers have access to information and action both, using any device, from anywhere in the world, on demand.

Eco System

Apple and Google have demonstrated very effectively that if somehow, you can build your ecosystem, an ecosystem comprising of your employees, your direct customers, your vendors, your partners and their customers, everyone benefits tremendously. Think of App Store as an example. Both Apple and Google have built a very powerful ecosystem using App Store bringing all customers, vendors, and partners together, creating value for all involved. Customers benefit because they get what they want, all at one place, integrated payment makes them more comfortable. Peer reviews help in identifying the vendor they want to give their business to. Vendors and partners benefit because now they can focus on content creation and enhancements, and marketing their product. The velocity of innovation is enhanced significantly. Of course, as the ecosystem owner, Apple and Google have not only been able to marginalize their competitors in this space, they have created an enormous enterprise value for themselves by plugging themselves in the revenue stream being generated.

All corporations, big and small, are looking to see how they can build and enhance their ecosystem by bringing their customers, vendors and partners together, creating an ease of doing business and thereby creating an enhanced value for all involved.

Cloud

Amazon and Microsoft have helped create another fundamental change in how people think and do business. Cloud by different names, such as managed infrastructure, data center, etc. have existed for a long time, one may argue. However, what changed everything is when Amazon announced 10 cents/hr server, backed by a superior technology product. Amazon had to take a leap of faith and invest billions of dollars, driven by their conviction that CapEx to OpEx for infrastructure for a technologically superior product for a large number of the businesses will be revolutionary. It was, it is. Along with an excellent technology product, Cloud has a built in up and down scalability, and disaster recovery. This has dramatically shrunk the network, server, and hardware technology team all around, creating the tremendous amount of agility and increasing the velocity of innovation.

It is the Pay-as-you-go Service model, which is the third major catalyst that is forcing every company to see how they leverage it for their own business.

Mobility, access to information and action from anywhere using any device, Eco System, ease of doing business with all stake holders and Cloud through its pay as you go service model is forcing every business to see how they can model their products and services to benefit from the change in these thought processes.

Solution, Application Distribution as a Service

Today a high school student, or an elderly person, can build and deploy a website in minutes. Hosted on AWS or Azure, would mean this website perhaps would be as secure and reliable as Amazon.com or Microsoft.com in some sense. This took an army of tech people ten years ago, solving name registration, DNS, hosting, firewall, load balancing and disaster recovery challenges. Now anyone can do this in minutes. Why? Because infrastructures for building and deploying websites got built. These made it simple enough where anyone could build and deploy websites using a control panel in minutes.

Deploying business services is not that easy. In addition to building your “secret sauce”, a company still needs to build an infrastructure to deliver the “secret sauce”.  The infrastructure, in addition to hardware, network and server infrastructure, requires core software and system services such as 1) Authentication, Authorization, Entitlement and Security 2) Ubiquitous Delivery- Desktop, Browser, Phone, Tablet 3) Real Time, Streaming, On Demand and Interactive Services 4) Audit Trail, Business Intelligence and 5) Collaboration, API, and Workflow Integration. Most agree that it is the delivering of the secret sauce that takes more than 80% of the efforts, as opposed to building the secret sauce which usually is less than 20%.

While Cloud has done a fantastic job of virtualizing hardware, network, and servers, as a service in a pay as you go business model, what businesses really need next is this delivering the secret sauce, as a service on a pay as you go, model, called Application Distribution as a Service (ADaaS). Yes, as a service, changing building of the delivery infrastructure from CapEx to an OpEx model, a fully hosted and managed service.

Imagine the innovation and velocity such an Application Distribution as a Service will bring to very large organizations who need to become nimble in launching their services, faster and at lower cost, as well as entrepreneurs who need to get their products out faster and cheaper in a way their bigger counterparts offer. Cloud has created a level playing field for large and small companies; an established ADaaS can up the game further.

The Beast Apps is an Application Distribution as a Service provider for the financial industry boasting customers from very large financial institutions to budding entrepreneurs, alike.

Ashok Mittal, President, The Beast Apps