According to data Gartner has gathered, Software-as-a-Service based applications (or cloud-based applications) are expected to see a growth of 17.4% globally by 2016 with the three fastest growing segments being Office Suites, Digital Content Creation and Business Intelligence.
This growth in demand is being led by consumers who are demanding mobility and accessibility with their applications and devices. According to a report by 451 Research, The next progression is making more advanced applications just as simple and easy to consume financial services, content aggregators and communication tools, [and] data analytics for customers
According to an article by Rick Blaisdell, a cloud computing expert and business strategist, cloud-based applications can increase productivity, particularly in small to medium sized businesses. Blaisdell says, The main reasons for which small business owners implement cloud-based applications are: cost-effectiveness, ease of implementation, and the lower cost of purchase.
Because there is no hardware or software to purchase, applications in the cloud are more cost-effective for businesses. Cloud-based applications generally are priced using a monthly or annual subscription allowing you to better predict your software expenses. In addition, the costs of regular updates and upgrades are supported by the provider of these apps. Utilizing these applications also allows you the ability to scale more easily. As your business grows, you can simply add the additional resources or licenses needed. Since these applications are managed by the provider and not your own business, it drastically reduces the need for your valuable IT personnel to maintain the software.
In order to decrease their time to market and enhance their customers experience, many businesses are partnering with providers who offer a comprehensive solution that includes productizing with an integrated appstore. The cloud-based applications come to you pre-packaged, eliminating the development process and immediately driving revenue for your business. Entering into a partnership with a provider that is continually updating and adding new cloud-based applications empowers your business to meet the demands of your customers while also removing the need for valuable IT resources in the development phases.
Utilizing a cloud provider that offers converged infrastructure is key for running cloud-based applications. By using converged infrastructure, you can guarantee that your applications will run seamlessly in your environment. This eliminates technical challenges for you and your customer and allows you to coordinate with a single company for implementation, development and support.
While providing an application store is an important component of a users cloud environment, it is also costly and time-consuming. Moving into 2013, small to mid-size businesses are recognizing the importance of using converged infrastructure in an effort to make utilizing cloud-based applications simple and effective.