In some of my earlier blog posts, I had pointed to information citing a surge in the number of organizations embracing and adopting Cloud services for their business and such a scenario beckons significant opportunity for the IT services & Systems integration providers.
I can only imagine ,not very distant in the future these services companies may find not only a lot of competition in the market , but a lot of expectations from the clients especially enterprises which manage complex and voluminous heterogeneous IT environments and Software applications. There would be an increasing pressure on these companies to offer niche and innovative services in an optimized and predictable manner.
The only way companies can provide innovative and high value Cloud computing services in the market would be through building Intellectual properties (IP) or knowledge assets in various forms as a part of their Service offering portfolio . IP for such services for instance can be in the form of
- Software Tools ,Frameworks ,Design blueprints
- Optimized Processes & Methodologies etc.
Now Let’s look at some areas that in my opinion offers bright opportunities for developing IP and capitalizing it
- I think there is a huge potential in developing Database migration tools and/or frameworks. The reason for this is there are different databases ,storage and data formats that have evolved and are evolving in the cloud and specific to PaaS platforms. Examples are Amazon S3,EBS,force.com Apex database,Hadoop,ScaleDB etc.
- Application Porting tools and frameworks also have a high potential , for instance porting one VM to another VM environment (VMware to Xen based clouds), or porting to specific AMIs or porting enterprise Java applications to a growing number of proprietary Java based platforms such as Google Apps , Gigaspaces etc
- One may develop specific tools from ground up or use and further develop opensource tools to fit the requirements.
The reasons that a services company gaining its IP in the Application porting and data migration area would be of great value is because of the fact that organizations of all types moving from their in-house IT to the cloud in the next many years will require these services initially and more importantly in the initial phases of the transition than other types of IT and systems integration services.
It is important to know that businesses moving their IT to the cloud would typically look for
- Slashing their time to move their applications and data ( Higher productivity especially say,for bulk of moving enterprise apps)
- Deployment on the cloud with higher quality (higher efficiency)
- Lower costs of migration as otherwise a higher cost will pose a barrier towards moving to the cloud (SMBs cant afford high costs to move their small IT Apps and large enterprises mainly moving their non-core apps and data in bulk may not want to spend a lot as the objectives of spending more on non-core apps may be the lowest priority).
To summarize, the first wave of embracing and adoption to the cloud services by businesses of various types may create significant opportunities for IT Services companies in the area of Data Migration and Application Porting services.
To tap in to such opportunities investing your human resources to develop suitable IP in one or more forms can give you an edge and help differentiate against the competition. Infact, it has the potential of getting you more business with improved quality of revenues simply because with your IP, more migration and porting projects can be completed with less number of resources as well as you will have better capabilities to spread your resources across many client projects.
So, get your act going now, create valuable assets for your cloud services business and keep improving them! It can surely help put you in the map of “Premium service providers’ even if you are a small or midsized IT Consulting & Services firm.
In the forthcoming Part-2 of my writing, I will share my thoughts on other high potential areas.