Does it still make sense to partner in a cloud and mobile world?

Adobe, along with several other enterprise software companies, have recently announced a policy of ‘mobile-first’ in product development.  This has largely been due to the dramatic take up of connected devices, like smart-phones and tablets, that are being used as privately-owned devices in the enterprise as part of BYOD initiatives, or as company purchased and approved devices in the enterprise.

The adoption of smart phones and tablet devices has also begun to change user behavior and expectations when it comes to using and interacting with enterprise applications on mobile devices.  We are beginning to see not just the consumerization of IT, but the consumerization of applications, where enterprise applications need to look, feel and behave like consumer app-store applications.

New cloud-based mobile enterprise apps, like SharePoint2Go™ can be used almost instantaneously from initial purchase; so where does that leave value-adding partners who have traditionally added value in enterprise software by setting up and configuring software products and technologies?

The good news for enterprise software resellers, consultants and systems integrators, is that in the new cloud-based and mobile world there are still plenty of opportunities to add value and to generate significant revenue.  The enterprise mobility space will present many new opportunities for services-based companies.

Although some cloud-based and mobile applications can be used with little set up or configuration work, there will invariably be a requirement to create a more custom user experience and secure environment, that will require consulting and development services to create.

IT industry analysts, Strategy Partners, make the bold statement that ‘Mobility will cause the replacement of every single corporate information system’ – this will either be achieved by converting legacy on-premise based systems into mobile and cloud-based applications, using development platforms like Azurati ASAP™, or by new entrants coming in to the market.

Cloud computing and mobility raise significant issues for CIOs, who desperately need guidance and assistance from trusted expert third parties.  Many organizations have not formally defined policies around BYOD, mobile security and cloud-based infrastructures, which all present consulting opportunities for professional services organizations.

Enterprise customers may also feel more comfortable transacting business with a trusted and established services partner, than a new-generation cloud or mobile software vendor.  Licensing models for cloud and mobile applications can also provide attractive new annuity-based revenue streams for the partner.

For companies like Azurati, partnerships are central to its business strategy. Partners provide the market reach, scope of service delivery and expertise and trusted relationships with customers that many young technology vendors do not have.

Azurati will be attending the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (#WPC12) in Toronto from the 8th to the 12th of July 2012.  If you are attending, please look us up.

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