Every business, regardless of size, must plan for managing risks. Some businesses consciously build a risk management strategy, while, for other businesses, the process appears to be unconscious, or even missing.
We think an important area of exposure for early stage ISVs can usually be found in their product development strategy. When we look at a product development plan, we ask about the computing surroundings around the tools and applications the business plans to produce. Is this software captivate to a specific computing platform, for example, Microsoft® Windows, of GNU/Linux? If the answer is yes, we usually attempt to learn more about the rationale behind the business’ decision to fully commit development efforts to one computing paradigm.
One needn’t look much further than the historical timeframe from late 2010 to present to note a radical shift in computing. Lots of business users are making radical changes in how they handle their daily computing tasks. Large ISVs, for their part, are contributing to the flux with new offers intended to support users doing what they used to do with desktop computers, but now with tablets, smart phones, or phablets.
A small ISV with one application on the market for MS Windows computing can, literally, plan on a very likely decline in revenue over the next few years as users continue to shift over to computing via other devices with their own operating systems and platforms.
How could this small ISV avoid the mess it might shortly find itself in? We think it makes sense to take core business capabilities and apply them over as wide a computing landscape as possible. If you build workflow tools for Oracle, or Microsoft products, you should explore opportunities to build workflow tools for Google Apps. By taking the steps required to open alternate markets you will provide your business with a defense should a worst case scenario arise. Better yet, write your applications in code that has been proven to be genuinely portable. It also makes sense to develop either a cloud SaaS for your solution, or a version of the solution that works with each of the browsers on the market today.
© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved