The Appification of the Enterprise Requires Flexibility, Breadth and Simplicity
|Steve Schmidt in Enterprise Tuesday, April 28, 2015|
From managing meeting invites, booking business travel, to organizing notes, there is almost certainly an app that helps us improve productivity in our daily lives. As consumers have started to rely more heavily on user-friendly, tailored, and task-oriented apps, we are seeing the “there’s an app for that” mentality growing in the workplace, which is driving the emerging “appification” of the enterprise.
As this transformation begins to materialize it is impacting how application producers package and deliver software products, and how enterprises provide access to software applications. However, in order to benefit from this transformation, producers must rethink the enterprise software business model.
What is the “appified” enterprise?
Users of mobile apps have grown very accustomed to downloading an app to perform a specialized function, which they can download from their app store with a single click and start using. They live in an “appified” world where a unique need and its solution are one click away. And they are starting to bring this “appification” mindset to work.
Employees too are looking for task-oriented apps designed to accomplish a particular function relevant to their job. Need to execute an email campaign? There’s an app for that. Need to execute a client’s stock trade? There’s an app for that.
Take timesheets for example. Companies like Toggl and Harvest have developed apps to ease this timekeeping process. The result? Employees need to enter only the time they spent working on certain activities and the app automates the rest – whether that’s submitting to the employer or calculating total hours.
As the popularity of apps like Toggl rise, employees are expecting more task-oriented apps that will help them achieve their goals without having to navigate through the broad functionality of a full application suite.
How producers license their software is critical to enabling customers demanding “appified” software. Smart application producers realize that they can monetize value by offering an appropriate licensing model enabling payment based on how the software is used.
Utility software licensing models focus on task, and capture revenue accordingly. For instance, meters such as usage, time, number of transactions or bytes transferred, are just a few examples of utility software models that monetize appified, task-based usage of software. This would enable use cases such as:
- A company offering email hosting and email marketing software can charge for its solution based on the number of email boxes set up by its customer, or the number of email messages sent.
- Intelligent and Internet of Things device makers, who power their hardware via applications, can monetize their software and software features on a “time-used” basis. So for instance, a drone manufacturer can charge for rentals and receive payment based on the drone features that are used, and the duration of that use.
- A software provider offering DNA sequencing software can charge for the application based on the number of gigabytes of DNA sequencing data processed.
In each of these examples, the enterprise software is being used to accomplish a particular task. The software vendor has created an appified offering, and then implemented a licensing and monetization model around the task-oriented use.
According to a report recently issued by IDC and Flexera Software, that’s exactly what’s happening. 17 percent of producers indicate that they now offer utility software licensing models – up from 9 percent in last year’s survey. And that number will grow to 23 percent over the next two years. The ability to offer utility licensing models, such as pay
In addition to task specific apps, the ability to access/download the application right now is the other part of the “appification.” Employees want to be able to download and activate the applications they need when they need it without unnecessary complexity.
With that in mind, employees are looking for an iTunes/Google Play-like fulfillment – one click software access and activation rather than more traditional, complex license activation models like email or website activation, which require a several-step processes. This new change in mindset is prompting application producers to rethink the delivery of their products.
According to the IDC/Flexera Software report, more producers are, indeed, supporting the appified enterprise by increasingly offering in-product activation of their software. 44 percent of respondents report that they now distribute license keys/files via in-product activation, up from 29% in the prior survey.
The Shift for Producers and Enterprise Organizations
In the appified enterprise, flexibility, breadth and simplicity are the new market requirements. Enterprise software producers must change how they license, package and make apps available in order to capitalize on the transformation. By offering task-oriented apps and in-product activation that allows employees to start using the application as soon as they download the software, producers will be poised to address the needs of customers that are taking their technology cues from their experiences using consumer apps.
Producers that can offer solutions that emphasize flexibility, breadth and simplicity will be the most successful and obvious choices in a consumerized enteprise software marketplace. The appification of the enterprise is underway. Are producers ready?
Read more: http://www.flexerasoftware.com
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