This is the final part in the 3-part series, “The Cloud and the End of Enterprise Software.” The first two installments may be found here:
Cloud Fuels Evolutionary Software Trends in the Digital Enterprise
New technologies have a way of identifying and categorizing companies as “bleeding edge” or “fast follower.” Then there are those companies left behind due to being unable to evolve with the evolving market.
Technology is more than a tool, it’s a vehicle. It’s a thing. It can get you from A to B. Sure, you can walk there, but technology allows us to get there faster—get there first. In business it gives you a competitive edge which can mean the difference between dominance and bankruptcy. For many companies, these emerging trends are seen as opportunities; they can reach their customers better, improve their supply chain and manufacturing, improve logistics and distribution or order fulfillment. It can open the door to entirely new industries. For others, it can be seen as a major disruption.
The Internet, or Cloud, was a game changer. It fueled the creation of companies like Amazon, Google, eBay, and provided Information at your fingertips. Companies in the 90s and into the 21st century needed to start thinking about their “Web Strategy” lest be left behind. Others needed to desperately rethink their distribution model or spend $17.6 million to recover $391,000 in settlements over a decade. RIAA was a group that was able to adjust to market trends and recognize emerging fads, but they were unable (and unwilling) to see the opportunity the Internet provided and only looked at it as a disruption.
As we discussed in the first two parts of this series, the landscape of Business Applications is changing—in terms of the procurement model leaning towards SaaS, and in terms of specialized apps leaning away from large, expensive Enterprise Software. But these are trends that continue solving business and operational problems for organizations and are simply doing so in more efficient ways. It’s time to change how we think.
As we are continuing our journey in the digital era, we hear more and more about the Internet of Things (IoT). Smartphones, tablets, wearable technology with sensors. These devices are changing how information is gathered. The amount of data being collected is beginning to explode and IT needs to be prepared. “After all, the Internet of Things is not really about things, but about data” (IOT and the Looming Mobile Tidal Wave). With (big) data coming in from numerous sources with the help of wearable technologies and savvy consumers wanting to take advantage, Fast Data becomes vital for companies. Fast Data allows companies to engage in strategic decision-making due to data analysis being performed in real time. The pioneers are able to adjust marketing strategies, rethink features for an upcoming release of their product, and determine promotion and placement decisions in the aisles of your favorite brick & mortar. With companies being able to adjust to changing trends in almost real time, those reluctant to adopt and plan for Big Data and IoT will be at a tremendous disadvantage.
In “What is a ‘digital strategy’?” author Pete Swabey references a study by Gartner VP, Mark Raskino, which finds, “Fewer than 50% of European respondents could even name a company whose use of IT they admire.” Raskino’s finds that the phrase “digital strategy” has undergone an evolution since the introduction of the Internet. From “web presence” and e-Commerce to brand promotion and social media, companies are now coming to the realization that “products and services themselves become digital.”
Tomorrow’s “Enterprise Software” is not the ERP, it is the operational analytics engine that drives your decision making. Thousands of devices, apps, services, and integrations work together to provide Software for your Enterprise, but what makes us smarter is our access to the valuable data they all provide. “[O]ne of the biggest barriers to making cities “smarter”—for example, comprehensively monitoring sources of waterway pollutants in real time—is quick and easy access to data,” says Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) in their piece “New sensor array changes the data collection game.”
The applications of real time analytics are endless in ways we haven’t even thought of yet. Smart cities, smart homes, and smart cars all come from smart companies. These smart companies are changing the game. They are using cutting edge technology, moving away from inflexible Enterprise Software and supporting a rapidly changing business vision using cloud technology, open frameworks, wireless data capture, and providing a new way of thinking: smart thinking.
-CJ Kadakia, Director, Cloud Advisory Services – Senior Applications Strategist