Friday, June 28, 2019

Time for a Declaration of Independence from Software Vendors?

When it comes to enterprise IT, every so often we begin to notice things that cause us to question our basic assumptions. The latest is about the role of commercial software.

The traditional advice for companies is that it is best to standardize on a commercial software vendor for the core of the applications portfolio. It might be a major vendor, such as SAP, Oracle, or Microsoft, or it might be any number of other providers. Custom software should be the exception, not the rule, whether for unique industry requirements, or for modifications and extensions to the core system. The more you can rely on a commercial software vendor, the better.

We’ve been giving this guidance for decades, whether for on-premises systems or with cloud-based systems.

Nevertheless, some of our clients are starting to rebel against the conventional wisdom by developing more of their own software in-house. Moreover, they are not doing it just on an occasional or exception basis or for niche applications. They are doing it for domains where we traditionally assumed that commercial software was the natural choice.

Read the rest of this post on the Strativa blog: Time for a Declaration of Independence from Software Vendors?

1 comment:

Matthew King said...

Hi Frank,

Thanks for the analysis and I like the analogy.

Regarding platforms as a service which you mention under the Cloud topic, some application platforms are also available for installation on your own servers (or hosted).

So it isn’t only Cloud Computing that’s driving application platform growth. It’s also the wider availability (and superior functionality) of modern application platforms themselves.

Cloud is certainly driving them, but Cloud is also driving the deployment of commercial applications including SaaS.

Application platforms offer a half way point between commercial applications and traditional custom applications running directly on a database.

So, to build on the analogy of a declaration of independence, choosing to build a custom application using an application platform is akin to declaring partial independence (i.e. not fully going it alone). Such as say Northern California deciding to declare independence from Southern California but remaining within the federation of the United States of America.