A new trend is making its way around the globe with many large cloud vendors launching cloud-based marketplaces for enterprises, SMBs, and even home businesses to shop for cloud-based solutions. The biggies are partnering with other domain specialists to add value to their marketplace and offer customers a one-stop shopping destination. The goal is to help consumers discover and purchase cloud solutions that are the best fit for their requirements.
According to a new software market report from MindCommerce ‘Cloud Application Marketplace 2012 – 2017,’ the global cloud applications marketplace will boom from 2012 to 2017, largely driven by the huge adoption of smartphones and tablets, as well as the lower cost of cloud application operations. Another key finding of the report is that collaboration in development and delivery of cloud-based applications is necessary to maintain competitive edge – a fact that many software application development companies are recognizing.
Advantages of cloud app marketplaces
Cloud vendors are selling B2B as well as B2C solutions. Marketplaces are offering ready-to-use Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions to vendors, open-source and commercial solutions, development platforms, customization services, along with development and deployment packages. They are simplifying the management of cloud apps for business owners.
Cloud app marketplaces are a good way for smallapplication development companies and individuals to expose their apps to a wider audience. By listing their apps in marketplaces of known providers like AppDirect, Amazon,Google or CloudForge, lesser known application vendors are able to get to markets faster and see better results by leveraging on the vendor’s proven expertise, reach and responsiveness.
Moreover, most cloud marketplaces offer tools and add-ons to make billing, application lifecycle management, development and monitoring easier. Online backup of applications is provided along with support services.
Companies such as Acquia, BitNami and OpenLogic have been offering the preconfigured app experience since some time. However, with enterprise giants latching on to the trend, the competition gets much tougher. The one thing smaller companies must now rely on is the appeal of their specialized services, niche target audience catering, cost-effectiveness, customizability and broader array of services.
Earlier this year, Amazon launched the AWS Marketplace with the promise of one-click deployment of popular software apps to the cloud. It offers a variety of commercial and open source products including 10gen, CA, Drupal, IBM, MediaWiki, Microsoft, SAP, WordPress and Zend besides handling the billing and administrative work too. RightScale offers preconfigured software bundles including database-as-a-service and other application or stack specific offerings.
While enterprise app stores are also catching on, many SMBs are realizing that partnering with a provider with a proven history of success in the field is not only a faster and cheaper way to get their wares to app store shelves but also more secure and manageable via the support and add-on services provided.
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