You ever have those moments when it hits you that sometimes hype becomes reality? After the mind-numbing amount of times that “cloud” has been used in almost every business meeting, marketing message, and corporate strategy document has been published over the past 18 months, I was starting to wonder why so few of the companies I speak to had actually starting to offer their software as a service. There were hints of it being adopted here and there, and sure, some companies were reporting their wins in the space, but the mainstream didn’t seem like it had really “gone cloud”.
And then it happened. I was in Mexico City last month presenting to a group of software developers and executives and expecting that, like so many other groups I had spoken to, they would still be contemplating the move to cloud computing but have relatively few resources dedicated to it. To my surprise, when I asked how many had actively deployed SaaS models, about 20% of the attendees (based on my completely non-scientific scanning of hands in the crowd) indicated that they were already offering their software as a service. It was a reaffirming moment when you are proud to be able to say that you saw it was going to happen, you built something to help your customers when it would happen, and you are able to connect the dots in real-time, as hype becomes reality.
In a region where venture capital is less readily accessible, and where the risks associated with high-tech startups are considerably higher, it was indeed valuable to see that established ISV’s in emerging economies are willingly making the leap to new distribution platforms that their larger, more established US counterparts are still just contemplating or considering. What really intrigues me though, is seeing what locally defined, creative solutions they will embrace as they deal with the nuances of emerging market economics.