The Cloud is the Future of Software Delivery

On-premises software installation is taking its final breath. In just a short time, the cloud will completely dominate the software delivery market.

Why are cloud computing delivery models so definitively poised for domination? They are simply more effective — for the software provider and the customer — than any other delivery method available. The benefits and applications are boundless, and more and more companies are leaning in and pushing their competitors to do the same.

This represents a big shift in delivery methodology, and software suppliers will need to jump on board if they want to stay relevant in the modern age.

The Future Is Now

This change is occurring as we speak. Salesforce invented the software-as-a-service model in the early 2000s, and there has been a slow rumbling of progress ever since — from Amazon to Microsoft and beyond. While we are still in the initial years of this transformation, SaaS and the cloud are now integral parts of the change.

What truly signals the cloud’s approaching dominance is how it has begun to overcome its own significant roadblocks.

One of those roadblocks was a matter of security. Not only have cloud providers become more robust in their security implementation, but the majority of data breaches in recent years have not targeted cloud-based systems. Nearly all data leaks have come from enterprise-managed in-house systems.

Next, are concerns over cloud infrastructure and geographical coverage. Cloud providers have taken some time to offer a credible cloud prepared for real-time applications. But now, the big cloud providers such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google have solid and credible cloud offerings available everywhere in the developed world.

The final hurdle is around the public’s interest. Cloud computing delivery models have not yet reached critical mass, but they’re well on their way. According to 451 Research, 90% of organizations will use cloud computing services within the next couple of years, with 60% saying that most of their IT will be off-premises.

Get Ready, Get Set

The adoption of cloud computing has triggered a paradigm shift because it brings economy of scale and professional IT to every company, regardless of size. Software solutions that were once too costly will be completely achievable for small companies — no IT department necessary.

Software suppliers need to prepare themselves to take advantage of this impending change. 

How they do that, however, depends largely on their starting point. As in all moments where the fundamental technology changes, the impact is proportional to the size of the existing software applications, and it always favors the newcomers.

But the switch to cloud-based offerings is worth the effort. Here are just a few of the advantages that cloud-based software delivery can bring:

1. Allows for more focus on the core business: Companies have long used third-party software to complement proprietary solutions, but doing so in an “on-premises” style requires extensive study and understanding of the third party’s modules in order to keep that software maintained.

In a cloud environment, however, the supplier of the third-party module maintains its own software in the cloud. Those using that software are then relieved of the responsibility of maintaining it, freeing up their time to focus on their own offerings instead.

2. Automatically updates software: Historically, software providers had no method of encouraging their users to upgrade their software to the latest version, meaning the providers would then have to continue supporting several versions in order to keep customers happy.

Cloud offerings, however, allow providers the ability to send automatic updates to all users. This means cloud software users stay up to date, and cloud providers can focus on a much smaller number of software versions.

3. Eliminates dependence on customers’ infrastructure sizing: In all “average complexity” software applications, the vendor will set minimum hardware requirements that the purchaser needs to respect. Minimum hardware requirements always have a security margin, allowing for peak usage without performance problems.

However, it is common to find situations where purchasers ignore recommendations and incidents occur due to performance issues during peak hours. In cloud environments, the level of safety is set by the vendor, which eliminates the potential for various incidents.

4. Simplifies big data optimization: In some cases, companies can make their software better by collating and utilizing the data their users generate. Company leaders can explore a large number of usage patterns and make use of machine learning algorithms to create better solutions. This big data optimization approach is much simpler to implement with cloud infrastructure in place.

The future of software delivery is in the cloud. Get ready to join the movement before you are left behind.

Miguel Vital

CTO of Altitude Software

Miguel Vital is CTO of Altitude Software, a global provider of contact center solutions.