Now by no means is this is a new idea, as other have written about it and companies like Google and Salesforce.com have been delivering this concept via SaaS offerings for a couple years. But businesses are often slow to adopt change, so seeing major vendors adopting a model that is closer to Enterprises (and mid-market), giving them a greater level of control of certain elements, is a step in the right direction to affect this type of change. It allows end-users and lines-of-business to leverage new services (internal or external), while continuing to allow a level of control/trust/security for the IT organization.
This brings up some interesting questions for makers of Enterprise software.
- Who is your customer now and over the next few years if this trend gains traction?
- Do you know how to target the end-users and ISVs that will be the consumers and suppliers of these Enterprise App Stores?
- Are you learning anything from consumer marketing or social media to better target or influence you future customers?
- Are you ready for communities of user-feedback to potentially have greater influence over future sales than licensing lock-in?
- Are you continuing to shift your user-experience to work seamlessly with the new types of devices that expect to gain productivity via Enterprise App Stores?