One of the highlights of the software industry calendar, Cloud World Forum, took place on June 24-25, 2015 at London’s Olympia Grand. The two day expo was aimed at helping C-level decision makers achieve business agility through cloud, analytics, mobility, and social technologies. With 300 speakers from across the IT community, there was something for enterprises of all sizes; SMEs and startups alike. Of course, we were front and center with our presentation, “Transforming Your Business in the Digital Economy”, which sparked some interesting conversations over at our booth.
Back when cloud was the new kid on the block, CTOs and CIOs were all eager to know how the technology worked, what sort of things they could push to the cloud, how it would affect application usage, etc. That initial curiosity has given way to a new kind of curiosity about the massive potential of cloud, now that it is a less disruptive, more viable technology, with industry-wide acceptance. This was reflected by the diverse audience of HR, finance directors, IT operations and development teams, as well as the usual C-level suite (CEOs, CIOs, CDOs, CMOs), who came to CWF in search of solutions. Judging by the large presence of database and IT vendor booths on the floor, and the abundance of newcomers selling various cloud solutions, it’s fair to assume they weren’t disappointed.
At the Gemalto booth, we had opportunities to talk licensing with a variety of industry players. While they were familiar with the general concept of licensing, many were vague on details such as entitlement management and licensing feature-based controls. Our conversations made them think differently and perhaps realize that enterprises developing software and software-enabled devices for the IoT have a vested interest in connected licensing and entitlement management. Indeed, on-premise software vendors may find themselves in need of greater flexibility, enhanced usage tracking and reporting capabilities, or expanded business models that only a cloud solution can provide.
When paired with the right management tools, the cloud can be leveraged to sell additional service lines and generate extra income. Banks and utility companies, for example, generate a lot of data that has a number of potential uses beyond analysis. Medical device companies, too, must decide how to harness their sensor data in order to sell additional service lines, as well as for predictive maintenance purposes. Although some of the larger traditional software and hardware vendors kept a relatively low profile at this year’s CWF, you can be sure they’re busy fighting over who gets to be your one-stop-shop data store of choice.
One thing that was evident at the show was that traditional companies will be using internet technology and the connected world as a way of delivering massive value-added services. The connected car is a prime example of this. Nowadays, when you jump in your car, you expect your phone to connect automatically, you expect to be able to access your Spotify playlist, you expect your GPS to guide you to your destination. Manufacturers like BMW – that traditionally never had anything to do with software – are now having to form software/IoT cloud departments to address new, non-core products. Why? Because software content now represents nearly 16% of a vehicle’s value. That’s quite a shift from 40 years ago, when a vehicle’s worth was determined solely by its mechanical/electronic components.
Looking ahead to Cloud World Forum 2016, we certainly expect there to be a lot of buzz surrounding the value of data – namely, how it’s collected, stored, and analyzed. Ultimately, it will be the convergence of Big Data and IoT that drives service revenue.