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Author's profile photo Laura Olson

Entrepreneurs Benefit as Cloud Computing Lowers the Barriers to Entry for Enterprise-Scale App Development

/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/7632002_s_446934.jpgWith powerful platforms like the HANA Cloud Platform small firms and start-ups can produce enterprise-grade applications which used to be in the domain of major corporations.  In theories of competition in economics, barriers to entry are obstacles that make it difficult to enter a given market. The platform-as-a-service in the cloud has broken down this barrier to entry.

Which industries are the most impacted by cloud computing and why?

For decades in the enterprise-grade segment of the software industry the primary barrier to entry has been the economy of scale: that is, the upfront capital investment in IT infrastructure, database and licenses with high personnel costs for the skilled professionals necessary to run the infrastructure on top.

SAP’s founders rented computing space at IBM for the first eight years from 1972-1980 before they had enough capital to invest and acquire their own computer.  Platform-as-a-service offerings like HANA Cloud platform give that same opportunity to start-ups today which Hasso Plattner, Dietmar Hopp and the other SAP founders  had 40 years ago.

Now almost any developer can have affordable access to powerful leading edge database and computing technology which was once only available to large corporations who could afford it. In fact, you don’t even have to be a developer – just have a clever idea. There is an entire ecosystem of developers, marketeers, sales professionals and back-office service providers around the HANA Cloud platform available to make your idea into an enterprise-grade app and help you go to market.

Which new job opportunities are being created?

The opportunities right now are for the entrepreneurs who take advantage of the low barriers of entry to enter the market of sophisticated enterprise-grade software, as well as the ecosystems around them. This is evident by over 1300 start-ups as of April 2014 which are using the SAP HANA Cloud platform to build products.

The consumer app market is reaching saturation point. I predict that those start-ups who got their experience at consumer-grade applications will move into the enterprise software segment and thus create job opportunities as they grow. If you are considering the move to code or define applications for enterprises, you must have an understanding of the business processes, security standards or industry best practices in which they are to be used. Thus, having worked in that particular business domain would be a big advantage.

In addition, when transitioning from consumer to corporate applications, you must offer more complex adaptation features and analytics. Here’s where the HANA Cloud Platform can really pay off – the powerful ability to calculate “on-the-fly” means you can provide sophisticated enterprise-scale reporting capabilities without pre-defining metrics or forming aggregates.

What to do next?

The new opportunities for entrepreneurs made possible by the HANA Cloud platform are interesting:

  • Developer ecosystem: you can contract developers around the world thus avoiding personnel overhead costs of employees. Hint – project management is essential and you should invest in a project manager.
  • Marketeers and sales people: as you develop your concept, it may make sense to contract these skills in, but as soon you start to expand, you would need to bring marketing management along with good agency support and sales in-house.
  • Back-office: most of these skills can be provided by service providers, locally or remotely. Developers located in different time zones can be an advantage when you consider customer support. Hint – you would need to have in-house a good administrative and/or financial manager.

Learn More: Attend the free Course: Introduction to SAP HANA Cloud Platform (Repeat)

Additional Reading:


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For more opinions on how Cloud Computing may affect your Industry and/or Line of Business (LoB) – and thus your career, read here:

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      Author's profile photo Schalk Viljoen
      Schalk Viljoen

      Great angle on how Cloud will enable whole ecosystems of employement around entrepeneurs!