Why cloud adoption has become essential to be a part of the API economy
“When it comes to cloud adoption, most companies shift the decision towards the future. Since many legacy products do well business-wise, a common line of thought is, “why should we do it now, it’s going quite well”. If you don’t make the decision now, it will have a profound effect on how your place in the IT world looks in five years from now. And if you don’t decide now, because it is a complex journey, it may be too late! So, don’t let the fact that business is doing well fool you to have time to make a decision for cloud adoption, because you actually don’t have that time,” says Steven ten Napel, CEO, CoMakeIT, while reflecting on the current need to participate in the API economy. Let’s read on to understand his views on why cloud adoption is integral and indispensable in today’s business environment.
Q: How do you envisage cloud adoption among non-IT companies in their journey to digital transformation?
A: Migration to the cloud is not just about moving data and applications to the cloud; it involves complexity of changing processes and has many business implications. It’s not as simple as just making a shift from on-premise to the cloud; it is a long journey that you undertake with your partner who is trusted and provides security.
If ISVs are moving their on-premise software to the cloud, that actually triggers a discussion on integrations. If you have your software in the cloud, it becomes much easier to integrate with others. Making your software product open is an extremely important part of moving to the cloud. In other words, the question is how do you architect your product that can be integrated?
Hence, openness is an essential part of the cloud economy and digital transformation. This brings us to what we call as API economy enabled by cloud adoption. Another way to describe it is the platform economy where the products become platforms that can be integrated.
What does this mean to IT companies? The API economy is not just forcing ISV products to be open, but also enabling the rise of low code development platforms. These are targeted for building easy, fast, new applications, and they are usually (or should be) by definition open, and cloud enabled. From this perspective, it helps to open up the world from the non-IT enterprises to get into the IT space.
So, what you see, as a result of these disruptions is that non-IT enterprises have started to build their own IP, and are becoming IP-driven companies. Their business models are changing as they are transforming their internal software into becoming a part of their business model, some are building completely from scratch a new platform. They also have a legacy that needs to be driven into their API platform, brought into the cloud.
This, in a nutshell, is the story of every company is a software company and their journey in digital transformation.
Q: What are some of the key challenges in selecting the right partner for cloud enablement; please identify at least three challenges and how they companies can overcome them.
A: There are many challenges, it is difficult to point out just a few. Let us look at three of them.
First, it is the speed of change. Today, the pace at which technology is changing is simply incredible. The IT revolution powered by Industry 4.0 poses a completely different complexity and challenge to the companies. The IT world is changing so much that it is impossible for the non-IT world to keep up with the technological capabilities. If you work with a partner for your cloud strategy, you need to understand how they keep themselves on top of the technological revolution. It is not just about having the knowledge and capabilities, it is how they continuously improve those, in order to serve you properly.
Second, it is a long journey that you embark on with your cloud partner. Many companies have legacy software, whether it is a commercial product that needs to be cloud-enabled or the operational product that needs to be transformed. Legacy could be a huge stumbling block for making the transition to cloud. You need to understand and appreciate that legacy transformation is always a journey. Since it’s a process, it takes time! So, if you are looking for a partner, you need to check their track record to build a long-term partnership with customers.
Third, you need to have a clear vision. The partner should be able to help you create that vision for the future and have the capabilities to do so. When you move to the cloud, you should identify your ‘core’; this may involve complex decision-making since your product needs to work with others. Just as technology turns open, the same is true for any organization. In a platform driven world, the businesses will also be open and cooperative with each other.
The ecosystem is the new business model and partner networks are the new organization. The companies will be more and more specialized; may be smaller, nimbler and niche.
Q: What has been coMakeIT’s experience in partnering ISVs to support migration to cloud and appreciating the benefits.
A: Actually, our customers should be answering this question! The mindset I see with the companies we work with and that are extremely successful in their cloud adoption, is that of changing from ‘project’ to ‘product’ to ‘platform’. Projects have a beginning and an end. Products have a life cycle, and platforms are products that are cloud enabled, and completely open. It needs a different mindset on how one looks at his IP. Be it an ISV, or a non-IT company. Those who are able to adopt that changing mindset, are most successful.
From a partner’s perspective this means, you step into a journey together, this defines the relationship. Sometimes you struggle, run into issues that are not so easy to solve. Cloud adoption is not easy, but with the right mindset, and partner approach, it can become a life saver instead of a bottleneck.
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