Island is very proud to offer our customers the ability to transact business with Island through both the AWS Marketplace and the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. The benefits to customers of this streamlined way of adding innovations and solutions to their environment is well known, so we won’t tread that beaten path. But there are other important dynamics about this well-established trend that are worth highlighting.
The cloud infrastructure market, led by Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure Cloud Services, grew rapidly over the past decade. This growth is clearly a benefit to Amazon and Microsoft, but it also imparts a more broadly-shared advantage to the wide range of companies who build services on top of these cloud platforms and the enterprises that leverage these services to run their businesses more efficiently.
We should also recognize a second-order global benefit as well: shifting compute resources to these highly-scalable, highly-optimized cloud providers drives better energy efficiency compared to businesses operating their own smaller data centers at lower utilization; this drives both significant operational efficiencies that impact bottom line results, and also favorably impact the carbon footprints of individual companies and the entire data-driven economy. Island is both a consumer of these cloud services — both AWS and Azure services are used to deliver the backend services that make the Enterprise Browser platform so powerful — and an enabling technology for enterprises embracing the everything-as-a-service future.
This shift to IaaS and SaaS is not exactly new; AWS launched over 20 years ago and Azure is nearing its 15th birthday. Yet the Enterprise Browser category is new, emerging just last year. The natural question is, “why didn’t anyone build an Enterprise Browser before?”
It’s a question we hear every day from customers when they see the Enterprise Browser. The first big factor in answering “why now” is the unimpeachable success of the Chromium open source project: it has unified and normalized web standards and left the difficulties with browser compatibility in the past (as the remaining legacy applications built for Internet Explorer ride off into the sunset). Island, along with Chrome, Edge, and dozens of other browsers, are built using Chromium. So building a critical, widely deployed product on top of Chromium gave the Island Enterprise Browser a massive head start in enterprise-readiness that most emerging product categories don’t or can’t enjoy.
The second factor points back to the top: the undeniable success of software-as-a-service and the infrastructure-as-a-service models that make it all possible. The era of SaaS makes the browser the single most-used application for most of the workforce in every enterprise on the planet. Now that enterprises are running their business-critical operations through SaaS applications, it’s no surprise that CIOs are taking a second look at the enterprise capabilities of their browsers. The best way to improve productivity, secure sensitive data, and protect applications and users is to improve the workspace where work actually takes place: the browser. Now that the applications and data are distributed across the cloud, the Enterprise Browser plays an essential role in centralizing access controls, security, and data protection.
The most recent GartnerⓇ Hype CycleTM for XaaS observed, “As organizations rethink allowing access to SaaS apps via any browser, from any device, this technology can offer a more secure way to reach these apps. This technology allows organizations to simplify both the standard IT “stack” and its deployment to end users for remote access. This is particularly important as hybrid working remains a day-to-day reality for most organizations.”1
Island uses AWS and Azure services to deliver the management and intelligence layers that distinguish the Enterprise Browser. By using these cloud platforms, customers benefit from a scalable, highly performant, and globally distributed solution. Customers with existing relationships with these cloud providers can also buy Island directly through their respective marketplaces, simplifying the procurement process. Island benefits from leveraging the world-class services these providers offer — increasing the pace of innovation and allowing R&D to focus on building customer value rather than building core infrastructure components.
The rise of everything-as-a-service creates significant new opportunities for the enterprise. Driving efficiency and productivity is good for the bottom line, but more importantly it’s good for the humans behind the keyboards whose daily work is more focused on creativity and innovation and less on the routine tasks that can be solved through automation. Generative AI — delivered through the Island AI assistant and powered by Azure OpenAI Services — holds the potential to unlock transformative change across countless job functions. By making the building blocks of innovation available through IaaS platforms, and providing safe, secure access through the Enterprise Browser, the future of work is bright.
1 Source: Gartner, Hype Cycle for Xaas, Jason Donham, Philip Dawson, Chris Silva, Stuart Downes, et al., 20 July 2023. Gartner and Hype CycleTM are registered trademarks of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and are used herein with permission. All rights reserved.