Citrix Systems, F5 Networks Take Leap in Cloud Evolution

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The next stage of the cloud evolutionary process has already begun with a clear purpose being driven by a business landscape that's now putting as much emphasis on customized efficiencies as it is on low-cost enterprise software solutions.

Software-as-a-system (SaaS) providers are evolving with a ramp-up in API program development and tailored SaaS offerings, which allow for a much more customized approach than the broad, bundled SaaS offerings currently on the market.

APIs, or application program interfaces, are toolkits for building software.

"Programming, operations and development are converging, so what providers are saying to customers is 'tell us about your specific company and tell us about your specific clients and what they might like, and we're going to be able to change and adjust software offerings, so they're tailored very, very specifically to that,'" explained Chat Reynders, the chairman and CEO of Reynders, McVeigh Capital Management, which oversees $950 million in assets.

A Layer 7 Technologies survey of 140 enterprises last year showed over 43% of respondents said they have an API program in place, and 27% indicated they have plans to launch a program within the next year.

While it's the Google's (GOOG) and Amazon's (AMZN) of the world that have been grabbing the headlines for disruptive innovation in the cloud, Reynders told TheStreet that the spotlight could eventually shift to smaller companies that have been working on tailored SaaS offerings and API development quietly behind the scenes. They include Citrix Systems (CTXS) and F5 Networks (FFIV).

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