Cloud computing has ushered in a golden era for software companies. The cloud’s low barrier to entry allows creativity to flourish, especially for software developers who are creating applications directly on cloud-based infrastructure. Cloud-based infrastructure enables developers to do what they love: solve business problems and bring innovative new ideas to life, using their choice of tools. In a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, applications can easily be deployed to a cloud service, and delivered to clients who appreciate the ease of access and low cost. The cloud model relieves the developer and the enterprise IT professional from the burden of managing or maintaining capital-intense infrastructure.
But the cloud’s low barrier to entry also allows competing software providers to enter the market every day, from every sector. Independent software vendors, or ISVs, are pressured by increased competition to deliver their applications faster, with greater functionality and ease of use. Their development teams also face increasing user expectations for availability and accessibility. Furthermore, mounting competition for customers can squeeze software developers’ revenue and margins.
If the cloud model is responsible for introducing high levels of competition into the software market, it can also be the answer to how an ISV differentiates itself. When they think of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) as a business differentiator, ISVs can demand more from their cloud service provider—to look beyond leased compute capacity and toward innovative, new, and business-enhancing functionality and support.
In this paper, we identify five attributes that the right cloud service provider will offer to support software development businesses. If you’re not getting them, it may be time to consider new options that can better support your development processes and, ultimately, your business.
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