Most Enterprise Software Vendors Fail To Deliver Innovation
Despite hundreds of billions wasted on failed research and development projects, most market influencers would agree that enterprise software vendors have produced a dearth of innovation over the past decade. Vendors often cite UI re-skins, major functionality additions, integration of acquisitions, technology re-platforms, and weak attempts at faking cloud computing as innovations. In fact, let’s call it what it is. Only a handful of enterprise software vendors have truly innovated. Many enterprise software vendors are fast followers. Most are innovation laggards living off fat maintenance revenue streams. Ask any product strategist where they gain their inspiration and they will all cite advancements in consumer technology; and not peer enterprise competitors.
Innovative Enterprises Push Forward Mostly On Their Own
During this year’s Information Week 500 event, conversations with over 50 leading business technology leaders highlighted the growing gap in innovation. These next gen leaders demonstrated how they were turning to consumer tech advancements to influence their custom development efforts; and/or seeking emerging vendors with innovative offerings.
For example, Bill Martin, the CIO of Royal Caribbean showed how design thinking coupled with real-time analytics and on-board mobility could improve the cruise experience on the largest ship ever built. Shawn Kleim, Director of Development at WetSeal, provided proof points on mobility and social convergence in driving retail sales and eCommerce in the highly competitive teen apparel market. Dave Bent, Senior VP of eBusiness services and CIO of United Stationers, proved how a company could deliver cloud services to partners to create competitive advantage across a value chain.
A number of CIO’s showcased how they were taking advantage of the cloud with SaaS apps and private clouds. Others discussed their efforts to optimize costs using third party maintenance to pay for innovation. The common lessons learned – most did not expect to gain market advantage from their existing and legacy vendors. Innovations came from the consumer tech side and next generation solution providers. Consumer tech advancements influenced business driven technology advancements.
Software And Tech Vendors Rush To Incorporate The Five Pillars Of Consumer Tech
Ten elements drive key design points for next generation apps. These design points showcase how advancements in consumer tech now permeate the enterprise. Design thinking concepts drive dynamic user experiences, business process focus, and community connectedness. Based on existing research, deep dives into major vendor road maps, and validation with clients, five pillars of consumer tech have emerged as the foundation for future inspiration in the enterprise (see Figure 1):
Figure 1. Five Pillars Of Consumer Tech Will Influence Enterprise Software Throughout The Next Decade
- Mobile. Mobile devices reflect the shift to ubiquitous computing. Users want anytime, anywhere access. Smart phones will provide the key gateway for consumer users to enter the enterprise. For instance, IDC numbers show mobile smart phone penetration to grow 24.5% by 2011. Most of the enterprise adoption trends comes from consumer driven demand. For example, Apple iPhone applications hit 1 billion downloads in the first 9 months and a significant number of enterprises have adopted the iPhone in addition to Blackberry. Google Android adoption is projected to grow 51.2% from 2010 to 2014 despite the fact that most enterprises have no plans yet to support this platform. In the next 12 to 18 months, users expect mobile access to enterprise information on their terms, not the enterprises. In 18 to 24 months, the convergence of location based services and mobility will move from consumer tech to the enterprise. These augmented reality scenarios will power enterprise proactive field service and new digital and social marketing advancements. Once again, consumer preferences will drive enterprise usage…
(Cross-posted @ A Software Insider's Point of View)