Need to Win Customers and Woo Developers? Select this Cloud Technology for B2B eCommerce

May 16, 2016

Category: Best Practices

Ever wonder how to get more in synch with your company’s technical team, architects and developers? If you have plans to update or build your B2B eCommerce solution soon, now might be the time to reach out to your intelligent tech counterparts and ask for their input and involvement. A new study from Forrester Consulting says 58% of developers are more involved in their eCommerce platform decisions than previously, and they’ve got lots of educated opinions into what might wrong with your current eCommerce system, and what technologies you should pursue to get them fixed, and quick.

The report, titled “Build Cloud B2B eCommerce Applications on Your Terms: PaaS Combines Speed & Agility with the Customization and Integration Businesses Need,” explores the results of the March 2016 survey of 150 US-based software development and architecture professionals with recent experience developing B2B eCommerce solutions.

Some of the results might surprise you. For example, developers aren’t very happy with the current eCommerce solutions in place. As the report states, “Most in-place B2B eCommerce solutions don’t meet developer needs.”

They directed a lot of their frustration toward traditional, on-premises platforms. A full 61% of developers say that “Cost of maintenance” is a major or moderate issue when developing in an on-premises eCommerce environment. Also, a majority of these technical professionals expressed serious concerns about applying upgrades (60%), Cost of acquisition/implementation (59%), and configuration and support (58%).

Huge gaps exist, however, in other areas. For example, while 80% of developers said “Breadth of integration options” was important or critically important for a B2B eCommerce Solution, only 37% said their current solution as excellent at this capability. Existing systems were also pointed out to be falling short in other critical areas such as cost, feature set, mobile capabilities, cloud deployment, and speed of deployment.

Cloud technology solutions are leading the pack for growth.

Developers expect their use of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) for eCommerce to increase by 14% over 2 years, which is 2X the rate of projected use of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), while use of on-premise eCommerce solutions is expected to decline by 7%. The study goes on to show how this is largely due to the PaaS offering being considered strong by developers, due to its flexibility, ability to integrate with existing systems, security and scalability.

eCommerce PaaS scored well in a number of areas that are critical to a successful B2B eCommerce installation. The item scoring highest on most developers’ scorecards reflects this positive view of PaaS as the modern option.  “More modern development environment, frameworks, or APIs” placed in the top 3 for developers. APIs are now a critical element for any organization needing to connect in their ERP, CRM, tax, analytics or any other mission-critical systems.  Also scoring high was support for mobile devices and data security — both critical items for fostering strong customer experience and customer trust.