For decades, enterprise software was commercialized using a top-down approach that required long sales cycles and the blessing of the IT department. In recent years, the enterprise software industry has witnessed companies embracing consumer friendly product and commercial techniques to simplify the user experience and delivery models of their products. The industry has referred to this phenomenon as the consumerization of IT and has triggered a renaissance in the enterprise software industry.
While the enterprise software models are constantly being improved to drive more innovation and simpler delivery models into the enterprise, the IT services industry seems to be stuck in the same mindset of the early 2000s. Even though most IT consultancies and system integrators have been relatively successfully embraced the new enterprise software technologies, the solution delivery mechanisms, sales cycles and customer acquisition models don’t seem to have changed at the same pace of its technology counterpart.
Even when embracing new technology trends such as enterprise mobility or big data, most IT solutions are still delivered in the same top-down painful approach that requires slightly long sales cycles, formal vendor evaluation procedures and the blessing of IT departments. In addition to that, most IT solutions still get delivered in the traditional models on which the solutions is implemented by an IT solutions provider and later transition to the customer for maintenance, support and future upgrades.
While this model will still be relevant for years to come in the enterprise, I am of the firm opinion that IT services organizations should start drawing lessons from the new enterprise software ecosystems and modernized their delivery models. In some sense, the complexity of the IT services business models and solution delivery models can be very harmful to the enterprise software ecosystem. Aspects such as leaner delivery mechanisms, simpler engagement models, recurrent and affordable pricing models and the ability to support and enhance IT solutions in a more agile way bypassing a lot of the red tape imposed by IT organizations are going to be at the center of the next generations of IT solution business models.
I will share some more ideas about this topic in a future post.