Four Trends That Will Impact ISV Businesses in 2022

Universal cloud adoption may be an inevitability, but after the events of the last two years, it’s fair to wonder: Will it come along even sooner than we thought?


According to Gartner, worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is projected to grow 23.1 percent year-over-year by the end of 2021, up $62 billion from 2020. In other words, adoption is accelerating, and it’s not slowing down any time soon. It’s as if the realities of our pandemic-tinted world have removed all reluctance from the minds of executive decision-makers.

But is it possible they’re now too eager to make their cloud move?

As it turns out, 82 percent of companies running in public clouds have incurred unnecessary costs since moving, per recent research. And through 2024, Gartner says, 60 percent of infrastructure and operations leaders will encounter public cloud cost overruns that negatively impact their on-premises budgets. So, are too many business leaders just treating cloud like a New Year’s resolution — deciding to get into shape and buying all the equipment, but never putting in the actual work?

One thing’s for certain: The prevalence of hybrid and multi-cloud business environments is only going to increase. And independent software vendors (ISVs) must be prepared to help customers manage the complexity of that reality.

1Taking Responsibility, Managing Cloud Complexity

Software companies of all shapes and sizes are being called upon to build simpler offerings today, ones that are easier to implement, organize and orchestrate across hybrid and multi-cloud environments. And ISVs can no longer offer just platforms; they must offer platforms as a service. Customers should feel like the vendor they’re working with is a full-on strategic partner — a true stakeholder that will take responsibility for the platform, and not just hand it off and leave. Put simply, ISVs must prove to customers that they’re not just there to sell; they’re there to help.

2Democratizing Next-Generation Technologies

Another tech inevitability is the eventual ubiquity of next-gen tools like artificial intelligence, big data and predictive capabilities. It’s only a matter of time before next-gen becomes, well, this-gen. And, of course, many leading companies already utilize the power of these tools today. But as more and more move to the cloud, data will only become increasingly centralized. So, how can companies take this opportunity to turn talk into action? It comes down to investing. Because with every business on a relatively even playing field, it will be the companies that integrate, analyze and capitalize on their next-gen capabilities that truly stand out from the rest.

Take the supply chain challenges of today, for instance. Suddenly, the hand of previously “efficient” companies that were simply focused on low-cost options has been forced. Now, they’re finally investing in not an efficient supply chain, but a resilient one. Can ISVs position customers to embrace next-gen technologies so they can be resilient as well?

3Combating the Great Reshuffling

You’ve probably heard about “The Great Resignation,” but from my perspective, the employee upheaval of 2020 has honestly felt much more like a Great Reshuffling. Talent is going back and forth between software companies so quickly, no one can even keep track. So, more and more, companies must reexamine what they’re offering and consider why it appeals to the best-of-the-best talent. Employees have myriad options today, so what do you have to offer? The future of work is about raising the bar from an employee experience perspective — because without the right talent, all that cloud transformation investment might not end up meaning much anyways.

4Automating Automation: Streamlining the Adoption Process

When factoring in the potential above-mentioned employee challenges and shortages, companies must consider — more than ever — how they’re automating their operations. I’m not just talking about having automation; I’m talking about automating the path to automation, too. At companies like SAP, for instance, we’re continuing to work on ways to automate services delivery, taking away as many steps as we can in the implementation process. In essence, it’s all about onboarding cloud solutions in a more straightforward, integrated way — in fewer clicks than ever.

In our future — one that will be based and predicated on business disruption — partnerships with ISVs will be vital to sustainability and success. Leading vendors will provide the agility customers need, developing modules integrated into a single platform and delivering one smooth, consolidated user experience — all while delivering users better ROI, improved customer retention and higher conversion rates.

In the future, companies won’t be moving to the cloud just to say they did. They’ll be doing so to make a real impact. No haste, no waste.


As head of Services for SAP North America, Michael Mahoney oversees the sales and delivery of all consulting and premium engagement services across SAP’s solution portfolio with a focus on driving innovative business outcomes for its customers. Through a balance of strategy and execution, and with a team composed of strategic experts, project managers, software technologists, and process and industry specialists, Michael’s mission is to enable customers to realize the power of SAP’s suite of products by delivering transformative and outcome-oriented services.