One of the consistently hot topics across the CTO community in Capgemini is the readiness of enterprise-grade, cloud-based applications.
As a service integrator and orchestrator continually innovating services, we need to assess what the key cloud players are doing in what is, let’s face it, a rapidly changing market-place that will almost certainly claim some mega-scalps if traditional enterprise systems suppliers don’t get their strategy right … and soon. They must also do this while ensuring their products appeal to users across a broad range of end-user devices.
With the advent of multiple new Ultrabooks, Smartphones, Tablets and Phablets, etc., we will want access to all of our documents wherever we go and on whichever device we are carrying. The likes of Box, Microsoft’s SkyDrive, SugarSync, DropBox, Google Drive and WatchDox will therefore be increasingly important and I would expect massive consolidation in this highly competitive market.
Productivity solution developers (from the largest software houses to the more ambitious bedroom app developers) must approach strategy and execution with an ‘enterprise grade’ frame of mind to help them differentiate. Convincing global organisations to cross the chasm and adopt solutions that have grown up from consumer-oriented technologies can be viewed as a challenge; witness Google with Google Apps
There are other challenges, of course, that will trigger big conversations in the board-rooms of the big solution developer corporations: Lock in, openness for integration, security and repository portability are concerns as is data sovereignty (and perhaps even the Patriot Act). This is before we even start on email archiving in the cloud with uber search (the likes of Mimecast perhaps?).
Other players will want to move into this space, but ultimately I think it should fall under the auspices of whoever controls user experience and device management… and as has been said on these pages before, data is the key.
(For clarification, when I say ‘bedroom app developer’, I mean those clever, work-alone individuals who write apps in the solitude of their own homes … nothing else!)