For established small-to-medium-sized ISVs, a Hybrid Cloud strategy is the best way to take advantage of the Cloud while also exploiting your existing products and infrastructure.
The Hybrid Cloud approach requires you to create a combination of public and private systems and servers that work in concert. This includes creating a new breed of distributed applications that we like to call Hybrid Cloud Applications. Your customers will use these apps, as well as your existing software, to seamlessly access their data from their desktops, over the web, and on mobile devices.
In addition to providing both you and your customers with the cloud-based benefits we’ve already expounded upon, the Hybrid Cloud strategy carries several key advantages unique to established ISVs.
Hybrid Cloud Apps Ease Your Customers Into the SaaS Model
If constructed correctly, your Hybrid Cloud apps will pull data from the same databases already running at your customers’ sites. So your customers will be working with the same data, and the same trust in that data, when using your new cloud-based apps.
This trust, combined with the accessibility of your cloud-based offering, should allow you to sell customers on paying a little extra per month to live in the Cloud. The extra revenue you receive will help offset the costs incurred developing your cloud-based app.
And, of course, middleware vendors who offer their users access to your software can also charge for access to your cloud-based app, which is a revenue win all-around.
Data’s Stored Securely, But Accessible Anywhere
Ease of access is both the Cloud’s greatest strength and its greatest potential weakness. Many companies, especially those that work with particularly sensitive data (such as confidential customer information or data regulated by HIPAA-like industry standards), are skeptical of storing their data in the Cloud.
In the Hybrid Cloud model, your customers continue to store sensitive data on-site, exposing only non-sensitive material to the Cloud. This allows them to utilize the cheap and flexible infrastructure of the Cloud while preserving data security.
Your Existing Software Serves as the Base for Your Cloud Apps
This is both the central tenant and biggest benefit of the Hybrid Cloud model. As we said above, creating a brand-new, Cloud-based application can prove expensive and demanding. But what if you didn’t have to start from scratch?
Thankfully, you don’t. There are a variety of solutions (including our own product, Thriftly) that allow your Windows developers to get started creating web APIs. Web APIs allow developers to access your software’s existing functions and your customers’ existing data when creating cloud-based apps. This reduces the costs and pressures your team will face when developing for the Cloud, and it provides you with a great starting point for a larger cloud-based strategy.