Ten months ago, we delivered the Cloud Business Model Readiness Assessment for ISVs, a tool that not only helps ISVs determine where they are in their cloud journey, but also shows the most profitable next steps. Co-developed with TechStrategy Labs, this tools focuses on the business model transformation required to fully maximize profits for a cloud solution.
Commonly referred to as the Business Model Self-Assessment, the tool is an online survey available to all IBM Partnerworld Members. Once logged in with a valid Partnerworld userid and password, ISVs answer about 20 multiple choice questions related to the ISV’s SaaS technology, cloud business model, and pricing structures. Once submitted, the results are run through an analytics engine that produces a customized four-page report for the ISV. The report includes an assessment of the ISV’s current SaaS model, as well as recommendations for next steps.
Like any tool, the self-assessment is not a silver bullet that guarantees success in the cloud. The report does not contain a magic formula for generating profits from from nothing. But when used correctly, the report can provide insights that help a business focus on profitable action items.
For example, I recently worked with an ISV in the data warehousing space. Their solution provides insights to retailers and relies on integrating data from multiple sources, both inside and outside a business. It’s easy to recognize why a cloud delivery model is ideal for this type of application, but prioritizing the technology investments required to get there is less obvious.
The ISV completed the self-assessment a few days before our scheduled meeting. We all reviewed the report in advance of the meeting, and we agreed to use the report as a working agenda for our meeting.
The discussion was insightful and productive. Based on their input, the report showed they had not done any virtualization of their solution, but they had completely enabled mutli-tenancy. We honed in on this part of the report, and quickly discovered that they had misunderstood our definition of multi-tenancy. With that question quickly resolved, we were able to turn our attention to their business model.
Although it might seem
that this ISV should first focus on virtualizing their infrastructure, the financial modeling section of the report revealed that they would achieve significant cost savings through a
more systematic approach to their significant data integration issues. IBM’s Websphere
Cast Iron product set is ideal for their requirements, and they are
currently investigating how to best put this offering to work for their
business. Once they have solved the data integration issues, they will then turn their attention to virtualization and multi-tenancy. One of the many golden nuggets in this report was the realization that although virtualization is important, it's lower on this ISV's priority list than data integration.
Importantly, this partner is free to run the self-assessment tool as many times as they desire. As they adopt new cloud technologies, they can play with various cost and pricing scenarios to see how these investments improve their business.
The SaaS Business Model Self-Assessment tool is available to all application providers who have Member level status on Partnerworld. Please feel free to use it, and we’ll be happy to meet with you and talk about the results. And comment here on how the tool is working for you.