Thursday, 2 March 2017

The Rise of Enterprise Cloud Apps

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We live in a time of technological advancements. Drones are delivering packages from Amazon, self-driving cars are taking to the highways, advances in natural language processing are gearing up to shake up the world of smart digital assistants, and cloud computing lets us store unimaginable amounts of information on remote servers.

Enterprise Cloud Applications

Let’s begin with a brief overview of enterprise mobile apps and enterprise app development. Enterprise apps differ from consumer apps in that they’re predominantly productivity-focused. More often than not, they’re created by enterprises to streamline tasks and create an automated environment. In the past, enterprises wanting to develop an app would need to contact vendors, complete an RFP (request for proposal) process, and jump through numerous other hurdles. Things are much better today. Now, organizations can go to a cloud marketplace and submit their app without the worries that previously troubled them. And, if for any reason they’re not pleased with the app, they just need deactivate it.

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This simplified development process, with less involvement from vendors, was formerly reserved for consumer apps. It has, in turn, taken pressures off selecting the optimal cloud strategy and led to the consumerization of B2B enterprise mobile apps. As a matter of fact, Oracle, the world’s largest software company announced in 2016 that all of its apps would be moving to the cloud. Moreover, a survey found that 75% of enterprises with greater than 1,000 employees have at least one app or platform running in the cloud, and 90% of all companies today either have apps running in the cloud or are planning on doing so in 2017.

Enterprise Cloud Applications in the Public Marketplace

The growing consumption of enterprise cloud apps has led to an increase in both the number of enterprise mobile apps moving to public cloud marketplaces and ease of enterprise app consumption. This shift in the enterprise app development process has been largely driven by Amazon Web Services (AWS), a pay-as-you-go suite of cloud computing services that make up an on-demand computing platform. AWS is an easy and affordable solution to cloud computing, and one that reached an all time high in popularity in 2016, with 57% of companies running it in the cloud. In fact, AWS is actually more popular than Microsoft, Google and IBM’s clouds combined.

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The Demand for Enterprise Cloud Applications

As we covered earlier, developing enterprise apps on the cloud is much easier than the on-premise alternative. Not only easier, but cheaper, and as we’ll cover in the next section, safer as well.

The Security Misconception

There’s a big misconception about the cloud and security. Many believe the cloud to be unsafe because it’s ‘the cloud,’ an abstract concept that most don’t fully understand. In other words, because data is stored on servers and hardware that are largely out of their control, people believe that it’s more susceptible to breaches.

In reality, and as this post explains, “Offsite cloud applications typically require more stringent firewalls, access credentials and security protocols than onsite stored data. With onsite stored data, security protocols tend to wane because they nest behind a local firewall onsite. On the other hand, offsite cloud applications must adhere to much more stringent security protocols, to make sure business owners are comfortable storing materials offsite and to make sure that access to those materials remains muted from the outside world.”

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The Takeaway

“What’s happening in the market is cloud—it’s just the way the industry is going to be going forward,” says Dan Miller, Oracle senior vice president for ISV and OEM. It’s safe to say that if you’re going to embark on an enterprise app development journey, the cloud is the way to go.

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