A few months ago I wrote a small article detailing some of the big challenges of enterprise software. For years, enterprise software has been synonymous with complexity, big spending and hard to maintain. However, we are starting to see clear signs that times are changing for enterprise software. From the massive acquisitions of SaaS vendors RightNow and SucessFactors to the fairly successful IPO of the not-yet profitable Jive Software, we are entering a renaissance of enterprise software which, somewhat shockingly, is not being led by the traditional big boys: Microsoft, IBM, Oracle or SAP.
This wave of change in the enterprise software space is a direct consequence of the fact that we are living in what can arguably be considered the most exciting time in the history of the software industry. These days we are having the privilege to witness the convergence of some the most amazing technology revolutions in the last two decades of computer science. These technology movements have already disrupted the consumer software space and are starting to make serious inroads in the enterprise.
In addition to the technology momentum, it’s important to realize that IT organizations are ready and even eager to embrace change. The experience of interacting with hundreds customers adopting Moesion convinced me that IT professionals are ready to embrace enterprise software that is innovative, simple to use and manage, and that solves real business problems using the newest technology trends.
If you are in the enterprise software space, whether you are a software vendor or an IT organization, you have a unique opportunity to influence change. Some of the following technology movements should help you to accomplish that.
Cloud computing models are actively disrupting traditional enterprise application models. While Software as a Service (SaaS) packages are leading the way as the predominant mechanism for delivering traditional line of business applications such as CRM, HR or ERP systems, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) models are becoming increasingly popular models for achieving elastic computing and storage. Finally, Platform as a Service (PaaS) infrastructures are streamlining the cloud application development lifecycle.
Mobility is arguably the biggest trend in today’s enterprise software horizon. With the number of connected devices moving from desktops to smartphones and tablets, the ability to consume traditional line of business functionalities from mobile devices sits high on the priority list of IT executives.
Social mechanics a la Facebook or Twitter are slowly becoming an important element of enterprise software packages. Techniques such as tagging, commenting or lightweight messaging are helping to enhance the communication and interactions between people within your business.
Slowly but steadily big data technologies are gaining space within the enterprise. The need to effectively leverage and analyze the increasingly growing volume of information processed by an organization is a key element towards achieving competitive advantage in the modern enterprise.
Games are not only super cool but a great mechanism to engage audiences. With the explosion of games in the social space, companies are looking to leverage social gaming mechanics to more effectively interact with customers and partners.
It’s important to notice that these technology revolutions are not only changing software but the economics of it. Technologies such as cloud, mobility or social computing are leveling the playing field for new and innovative technology companies that want to make enterprise software sexy again. With all these technology revolutions happening at the same time, and consumer technology setting up a high bar for innovation, it’s hard to imagine a better time to disrupt enterprise software.