Enterprise Software is Dead

Well, not dead….but certainly dying as we know it. Without software (and hardware for that matter), our connected world wouldn’t function…so let’s call it dramatically changing.

We have seen hardware over the past decade spiral into a commodity, with prices in tow. We are now witnessing high value enterprise software in decline, moving towards SaaS and pricing following suit with hardware. The world is thinking apps and mobility, speed and convenience. What was once mission critical is being replaced with “good enough, as long as it’s fast.”

Question for the CIO: “are your capital budgets going up or down for IT assets?” 

Technology companies still have increasing quotas on their traditional field teams and rising expectations quarter over quarter to their investors. Making hardware and software “cloud ready” or “SaaS-ified” or adding “digital” in front of the product name, doesn’t solve this issue….and only potentially postpones it. The industry giants haven’t changed and neither has their go-to-market designs. They haven’t modernized how they address the increased expectations around the real-time delivery of value and innovation or the transition from paying a big lump fee for software licenses, to a pay-as-you-go consumption model. All of this creates a really, really big problem.

“You won’t get fired for buying IBM.”  

How many deals were won because of that powerful statement? That type of control is tremendous. And it still exists. It is inevitable that cloud is here, but why are many vendors still talking about the risks in cloud only to instill fear? With our connected world, everything online, we are still frightening people with the “you won’t get fired for…..” statements? Of course considerations need to be made for any major architectural shift, but this one is happening before our eyes.

Innovators since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution have had a way to visualize futuristic technology and execute, despite the ridicule of naysayers. What’s worse, is these naysayers seem to believe to know better and want a newer version of “old fashioned.” Perhaps driven by fear of change?

“If i asked them what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Henry Ford  

Change is hard…different is hard. But without innovation or those who can take an idea, convince others it can be and then execute…without these people, we don’t have Apple. We don’t have Microsoft, Tesla, Nike, or any other modern marvel.

There are organizations that see this massive shift in the market and are executing very differently. The old way of IT, will continue, but only in part. The location of applications are changing; some in the data center, some as SaaS, some as cloud. But all of it needs to work together. This makes for a very different conversation – a way to survive.

  • DEVOPS – Applications and features getting to market faster is no longer only a competitive weapon; it is a business imperative for survival. 
  • SECURITY is no longer about protecting the perimeter. Most breaches we read about happen internally or due to lateral movements.
  • MOBILITY – the world functions on mobile devices. Combined with big data, collecting and providing information on who, what, where and when are becoming paramount across nearly all industry verticals.

So what? There are plenty of providers that deliver “old fashioned.” There are plenty of technology companies that can take an order and provide whatever is requested. Faster horses! The traditional hardware and software business as we know it may die….but the innovators spirit is immortal.

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