30 September 2022

Seven cloud challenges for ISVs to overcome

SaaS is the driving force behind the growth of the cloud. According to IDC more than 60% of the overall cloud turnover in 2022 is from SaaS services. Though the prospects are lucrative, software developers are coming up against a range of challenges in their cloud transitions. Applications have to be completely or partially rewritten, data has to be migrated and revenue models must change. In short, the arrival of the cloud forces independent software vendors (ISVs) to work, and think, in a completely different way. Some of the greatest challenges are set out below.

“Though the prospects are lucrative, software developers are coming up against a range of challenges in their cloud transitions.”

1. The client is becoming more demanding

Software end users have ever-increasing requirements around the availability, flexibility and security of the software used. They want an excellent user experience and comprehensive functionalities, while new functionalities have to be made available quickly. This puts the ISV under pressure to properly streamline the development and release process as a whole.

2. Legacy software creates a balancing act between old and new

With one foot still on-premises and the other in the cloud, a lot of ISVs find themselves in a balancing act between old and new. How do you transfer your legacy applications to the public cloud in a way that is practically, technically and legally secure? What are the consequences of not doing this? Read more about this balancing act here and the most effective way to resolve it.

3. Cloud-first operations require a different long-term strategy

Opting for the cloud must be a properly-considered decision. Whether a private, public or hybrid cloud environment, every approach has advantages and disadvantages. Proper cloud migration is therefore not just a technical issue, but also a strategic one. The correct framework in the migration strategy prevents your cloud environment turning into a headache. A Cloud Landing Zone is a good foundation for this. This is a framework of best practices and guidelines, within which a cloud migration can be carried out efficiently and safely.

4. Responsibility for client data

For years, ISVs only offered applications on-premises, meaning that client data was stored and managed on the client’s servers. However, because of the development of SaaS, ISVs are also concerned with the management of this data. In the case of cloud computing, it can be very tricky to establish who is responsible for processing data in a lawful manner. In fact, this depends on various factors. Therefore, as a SaaS supplier, you bear (partial) responsibility for data governance. Additionally, the hosted SaaS service is subject to regulations in multiple countries, as the servers of cloud providers aren’t bound by national borders. As a result, it’s important that you know which legislation and regulations you have to comply with, which certification you need, and how you set up data storage properly and safely.

5. A new world of security and compliance

Security works differently in the cloud. It’s easy to seal up private environments in advance, while the cloud is open and flexible by nature. That’s one of the great advantages of the public cloud, but it does mean you have to be careful. Settings errors are easily made, causing an environment to be exposed to the outside world by accident, or your data processing to suddenly violate the GDPR. So before you make the transition to the cloud, you have to learn a different way of looking at security. Would you like to know more? 

6. Software has to be released more and more quickly

Scale and flexibility are key in the new cloud world. Clients are more aware of what they want, and want the new functionality yesterday rather than today. This high tempo puts DevOps teams under increasing pressure to work faster. Not only must the time-to-market be reduced, they also expect regular updates and new features. Quarterly updates give way to continuous delivery – a world of difference for development teams!

7. Expertise becomes more specific and scarce

Whereas the old world was one of VMs, the public cloud is one of Infrastructure-as-a-Code and APIs. The technical expertise requirement is becoming increasingly specific, and is constantly moving: what you learn today might no longer apply tomorrow. For many companies, it is getting harder and harder to find and maintain all this knowledge. Especially in view of the current war on talent, in which developers are particularly scarce and expensive.

Sooner or later, every ISV comes across these issues during the cloud transition. So don’t let it catch you unawares; familiarise yourself with the ways of overcoming the challenges of the cloud successfully. The free e-book below, ‘Software Development & Cloud Challenges‘, can help you. 


Software development & cloud challenges

Read more about the trends that are shaping the software development market?
Download the e-book especially for ISV’s and software developers.


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