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By 2020, lots of Enterprises will offer applications as a service

mikeshaw747

At HP we’re involved in a number of different initiatives around cloud computing. From our work with customers in this area, we’ve seen an evolution in the way enterprises use cloud and we’re now seeing how the most forward-thinking ones are using it to open up new business opportunities. 

 

What I’ve learned from HP customers who are adopting cloud has influenced my thinking about the future of IT. I believe that by 2020, most enterprises will be SaaS providers. I believe that there will therefore be thousands of SaaS providers, each offering applications and/or business processes that augment their products.

 

Leading-edge enterprises are evolving from internal cloud to become SaaS providers

At the moment, many enterprises are still working out exactly how to internally deliver and externally use cloud computing. But once they do, I believe many of them will turn their attention to becoming SaaS providers: providing applications to their customers using a cloud model.

 

I don’t mean enterprises that will compete with big SaaS providers delivering generic application functionality like Salesforce.com. Instead, most enterprises will deliver specialist SaaS offerings which arise out of their specific areas of expertise.

 

Typically, enterprises have one or more applications that they provide to customers. But distributing and supporting these applications on the customer side is a non-trivial undertaking and is seen by many enterprises as a defocus from their core business.

 

However, cloud has changed all that.

 

The cloud allows enterprises to offer value-add to products using SaaS applications

Enterprises will typically have a deep expertise in a certain area. Cloud and SaaS allows them to offer this expertise, in conjunction with their products, to provide a stronger overall offering to their customers and to better differentiate themselves. Cloud and SaaS means that enterprises can think about providing a "solution experience" around their products.

 

Say, for example, that you are a world expert in diabetes diagnostics and treatment medication. There is a lot more to the management of diabetes than simply providing someone with a blood sugar level tester and some medication. For example, there are all different types of diabetes patients, and so the choice of measurement device and treatment regime is not obvious.

 

SaaS allows you to move from someone who ships diabetes testing and treatment products, to someone who offers a more complete diabetes management solution including, perhaps, a social media element.

 

Or, you manufacture a home management system - a "smart device" as such systems are called. You might want to create a cloud service to which your home management systems would connect. This cloud service might offer analysis on data collected from the home, or it may provide the home management system with short-range weather information, etc.

 

The business process of the future will be a mosaic of services

I also believe that by 2020 the typical business process will be composed, in part, from such cloud services. Enterprises will use business process management tools to switch together mosaics of services, some provided by their own IT teams and some provided by these external cloud services.

 

Who operates these SaaS services?

How will enterprises deliver these SaaS cloud services? I think there are two options.

 

  1. The first is to do it themselves. The enterprise becomes a SaaS provider taking in a fee from customers and providing a service which is highly scalable.
  2. The enterprise may, however, feel that becoming a service provider, be it only a small one, is a step too far and a defocus for their organization. I believe that by 2020, we will see larger service providers offering a SaaS hosting service where enterprises provide the service provider with the application code and the service provider runs it. The service provider will take subscriptions and will manage first level support and problem triage.

Help to write our Enterprise 20/20 vision

Do you have a view on SaaS services in 2020?  If so, why don't you join our effort to create a vision of the world in 2020? On the Enterprise 20/20 site, HP is putting up its "first cut" vision of an aspect of life in 2020 and then everyone gets to add their ideas and comments. We then revise the vision, based on everyone's input.

 

We have just published our initial thoughts on a vision for the CIO of 2020. In it, we discuss the concept of enterprises becoming SaaS providers and many, many other topics. If you have views on what the IT department of 2020 will look like, please feel free to go to the web site and add your views. Or leave a comment here and let me know what you think.

 

Related links:

•                What will the IT department of 2020 actually do?

•                How will the IT department of the future provide business value?

 

Author : Mike Shaw

 

Mike Shaw
Director Strategic Marketing

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About the Author

mikeshaw747

Mike has been with HPE for 30 years. Half of that time was in research and development, mainly as an architect. The other 15 years has been spent in product management, product marketing, and now, strategic marketing. .

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