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LockPath 2017 Predictions: Demand for Cloud Applications Will Rise in 2017. Can Software Companies Keep Up?

VMblog Predictions 2017

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017.  Read them in this 9th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Sam Abadir, Director of Product Management at LockPath

Demand for Cloud Applications Will Rise in 2017. Can Software Companies Keep Up?

It goes without saying that technology keeps getting more innovative as the years go on. There are new platforms, processes, and solutions that are being developed to solve problems that many did not know existed or even thought possible to resolve. With all these new solutions and technologies, companies are collecting increasing volumes of data. Remember in 1998 when Microsoft launched TerraServer? Huge investments were made to create and store a full terabyte of maps that covered the world. It was an amazing amount of storage.

The new technology advancements and the availability of it are creating expectations about data usage and data availability. It's also creating support, security, privacy, and compliance headaches. Information security departments are struggling to prevent data loss scenarios from both hackers and internal actors. Risk departments are having trouble with the proliferation of unapproved software that IT departments cannot support. Managers are having trouble understanding and trusting reports from disparate and potentially unsanctioned systems.

Many organizations are solving these problems by adopting vendor-supported, cloud-based software applications. Moving applications from being supported by on-premise IT departments to being supported by vendors in cloud environments is rapidly gaining executive support in all industries. The top two reasons for this are increased security and decreased costs.

Keeping information in an organization secure is a difficult task met with significant challenges. Information security experts are hard to find and hard to retain. Cloud-based software companies are giving the best information security experts the organization, challenges, opportunities, and salaries that make them want to work there. Traditional companies whose core competency is not cloud software are having a very difficult time attracting and keeping top security professionals on their teams. Because of this, the IT security in these organization suffers.

Cost is also a big factor when managing and maintaining top talent. Many organizations have traditionally had huge IT teams with some of the more complex organizations needing expensive IT professionals to specifically support particular applications. For example, large companies that run on-premise enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have teams of 50 people or more just to support the ERP software. Many of these people are there to support not only upgrades, but also the custom code that the software vendor did not provide for. The labor costs to support software are not trivial. IT department costs have been skyrocketing, and companies have realized they need a better approach.

For some organizations, an alternate approach is having the software vendors manage the software in the vendor's secure cloud environment. This solution is not as simple as it sounds. Traditional software vendors have built software to be installed on the customer's hardware. Many do not realize that just putting on-premise software in the cloud is not the silver bullet approach. This approach is no different than running an application on premise. The application still needs the same size support teams, the same overhead, and the same custom code requirements (and upgrade problems).

What companies need to look at when looking to lower costs and improve security and performance is not just a cloud application, but a cloud application that was architected to work in the cloud. This means getting rid of custom code and allowing users to configure their complex solutions. This means providing easy access to data and secure methods of inputting data. It also means building security and risk management into the design of the application. Many traditional software companies do not work this way, so moving applications to the cloud often does not produce the results that companies seek.

Historically, traditional software companies have had a difficult time building cloud-specific applications. They are accustomed to custom code capabilities and overhead. These software vendors do not design in a manner that is nimble and flexible for all customers. The traditional, major ERP platforms have all had multiple starts on developing and deploying effective and cost-efficient cloud-based solutions. Second generation ERP systems were designed in the cloud and have been consuming the traditional ERP market. A recent conversation with a group of governance, risk management and compliance (GRC) analysts noted that between 20 and 30 percent of all software solutions have been deployed in the cloud. They also stated companies in the GRC space that have designed cloud-first applications have a cloud adoption rate of more than 70 percent.  The analysts noted the demand is there but the first-generation solutions are not cloud-effective.

Companies that build software with a cloud-first architecture have successfully conquered the usability, security, and cost effectiveness issues that result in lower costs and greater effectiveness for organizations. Organizations looking for greater benefits, better security, and lower costs will continue to look to the cloud. During the process of selecting solutions that will deliver the expected benefits, organizations need to have a strong understanding of how the cloud works and where benefits are achieved.

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About the Author

Sam Abadir is the Director of Product Management at LockPath, a leading provider of governance, risk management and compliance (GRC) solutions.

He has over twenty years of experience helping companies realize value through improving processes, identifying performance metrics, and understanding risk. Early in Sam's career he worked directly with financial institutions and manufacturing companies, helping them understand how risk management could be a competitive advantage. As a Sr. Manager at Deloitte he broadened his experience focusing on Global 2000 companies. In the past five years, Sam has worked with software companies like LockPath to build the tools that help companies harness the value of understanding and assessing risk.

Sam Abadir 

Published Monday, December 05, 2016 7:02 AM by David Marshall
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Demand for Cloud Applications Will Rise in 2017. Can Software Companies Keep Up? - LockPath.com - (Author's Link) - December 5, 2016 9:59 AM
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