|By Bill McColl||
|March 15, 2010 10:45 AM EDT||
The future of enterprise software is the platform. No software company has all the smart people in the world on its payroll. Apple recognized this and created the App Store. Google are now doing the same. These new cloud platforms will unleash unprecedented innovation and creativity throughout all areas of business and the web, with thousands of new apps being created that will revolutionize IT.
Enterprise software has always been unpopular - it has always been expensive, slow, complex and clunky. The only people who actually like it are the software vendors who sell it, and the armies of integrators and consultants who struggle to make it work.
The "consumerization of the enterprise" is an idea that's been around for a few years, but it's now at a tipping point, and from here on we will see a rapidly accelerating shift to a new generation of business software systems that have a lot more in common with Facebook, Google and Twitter than with the kinds of ERP, CRM and SCM systems and database/data warehouse technologies that business professionals have had to put up with for decades.
Why now? Two reasons: (1) because we have to, and (2) because for the first time, we can!
We Have To Change
We have to, because today's enterprise software simply doesn't deliver what's required for business today. As Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO, said recently
“Why isn’t all enterprise software like Facebook?”
"Today, realtime information is possible, which has changed everything: How people consume information has changed, how people learn things about each other has changed, and how people stay current has changed. Most of all, our expectations around immediacy have changed."
"Market shifts happen in real time, deals are won and lost in real time, and data changes in real time. Yet the software we use to run our enterprises is in anything but real time."
For any business to be competitive today, it needs to have the ability to continuously analyze vast quantities of data in realtime - all kinds of data about customers, partners, employees, competitors, marketing, advertising, pricing, infrastructure, and operations. Today what's needed is smart IT systems that can automatically analyze, filter and push exactly the right data to business users in realtime, just when they need it.
Does that sound like your existing ERP system? Does it sound like the data warehouse system you were recently offered at the bargain price of two million dollars? Probably not. Many data warehouses today are often jokingly referred to as "write only" systems, data goes in continuously, but nothing of much value ever seems to come out.
Today's enterprise software was architected around databases and data warehouses back in the 1980s and 1990s because at that time the world was pre-web, data volumes were small, no one was grappling with information overload, 100% of the data required by employees was internal business data, and that data was highly structured and organized in simple tables. Users could pull data from the database whenever they realized they needed it.
Today, everything has changed. Everyone is grappling constantly with information overload, both in their work and in their social life. Most data today is unstructured, and most of it is in files, streams or feeds, rather than in structured tables. Many of the data streams are realtime, and constantly changing. At work, most of the data required by employees is now external data, from the web, from analytics tools, and from monitoring systems of all kinds.
So we need to move beyond today's enterprise software, simply because it doesn't deliver what's required in this new era of realtime business and the realtime web.
Can We Do It?
Yes, we can! And cloud computing is accelerating the trend.
Firstly, there are no fundamental technical impediments. Google, Facebook, Twitter and other consumer web services have clearly shown that it is possible to build powerful realtime software architectures that process vast quantities of data continuously, are easy-to-use, engaging and informative for users, and can scale to handle very large numbers of users.
Secondly, it's already happening. Email moved to the cloud more than ten years ago, office software from Microsoft, Google and others is also now in the cloud, collaboration tools and enterprise social networks are available. The consumerization of the enterprise is already underway.
The future is to build mass market consumer platforms that can achieve global adoption, and then to migrate those into the enterprise. That way, the transition between social life and work will be much more seamless. You'll be using essentially the same tools and technologies at home and at work. The key to doing this successfully is to build platforms that are both powerful and flexible, but also really easy to use. Ease of use is critical in the consumer space, and it will be equally critical in future in the enterprise space.
The core of enterprise computing today is handling "Big Data", the continuously flowing rivers of realtime data that drive modern business. Next week Cloudscale will be commercially launching the Cloudcel platform, the first realtime, massively parallel cloud platform for Big Data Apps. Usable in minutes by anyone who can use Excel, Cloudcel enables non-programmers to simply and quickly develop powerful new apps on massive data sets and live data streams. The platform can be used to easily and quickly develop new apps in any of the areas where data is now growing exponentially - business, web, science, government, finance, and in the world of sensors and smart grids. With over 100 million Excel power users around the world, it has the potential to achieve major impact across a very broad area.
The future of enterprise software is clearly "the platform". No software company has all the smart people in the world on its payroll. Apple recognized this and created the App Store. Google are now doing the same. These new cloud platforms will unleash unprecedented innovation and creativity throughout all areas of business and the web, with thousands of new apps being created that will revolutionize IT. Whether it's the Google platform or the Microsoft platform for office apps, the Salesforce platform for customer apps, or the Cloudcel platform for big data apps, the enterprise is going to start to look quite different over the next few years.
Not Quite The End. Yet!
It will undoubtedly take a while for the consumerization of the enterprise to fully play out, take a while for the last of the complex, legacy ERP, CRM, SCM and data warehouse systems to be replaced, but there's no doubt that we're now at the tipping point. The shift to cloud computing that's taking place will accelerate this transition over the next two years, and there are good reasons for optimism that the related platform shift will actually happen more quickly than many currently expect. As Winston Churchill might have said, we're not at the end of enterprise software yet, but we're certainly at the beginning of the end.
|wasnotwas 03/15/10 10:17:00 PM EDT|
Actually, I think it's more like "the end of the beginning" for enterprise software. Clouds are great, clouds are good, clouds are still inherently (perceived as) more risky for sensitive data than keeping it locked up in your glass house. Internal clouds are just another way of capital justification.
When cloud APIs mature to the point where they become the business equivalent of C++/Java and the players have also matured to the point where those APIs are interoperable and federated services are the rule, then we'll see the beginning of the end for enterprise software.
But guess what? The same players that are the big dogs in enterprise software today will still be the big dogs in the enterprise cloud.
Yes, I'm a heretic, but the more things change..
Container frameworks, such as Docker, provide a variety of benefits, including density of deployment across infrastructure, convenience for application developers to push updates with low operational hand-holding, and a fairly well-defined deployment workflow that can be orchestrated. Container frameworks also enable a DevOps approach to application development by cleanly separating concerns between operations and development teams. But running multi-container, multi-server apps with containers is very hard. You have to learn five new and different technologies and best practices (libswarm, sy...
May. 23, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,666
SYS-CON Events announced today that DragonGlass, an enterprise search platform, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. After eleven years of designing and building custom applications, OpenCrowd has launched DragonGlass, a cloud-based platform that enables the development of search-based applications. These are a new breed of applications that utilize a search index as their backbone for data retrieval. They can easily adapt to new data sets and provide access to both structured and unstruc...
May. 23, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,607
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, will discuss IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sector...
May. 23, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,765
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
May. 23, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,283
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
May. 23, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,552
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
May. 23, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,719
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
May. 23, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,379
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehe...
May. 23, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,858
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
May. 23, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,747
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fil...
May. 23, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,641
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
May. 23, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,935
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
May. 23, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,266
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
May. 23, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,708
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
May. 23, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,766
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
May. 23, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,151
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understanding the kinds of data: structured, unstructured, big/small? Analytics: What kinds and how responsiv...
May. 23, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,257
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
May. 23, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,294
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The threat landscape of today is drastically different than just a few years ago. Attacks are much more organized and sophisticated. They are harder to detect and even harder to anticipate. In the foreseeable future it's going to get a whole lot harder. Everything you know today will change. Keeping up with this changing landscape is already a daunting task. Your organization needs to use the latest tools, methods and expertise to guard against those threats. But will that be enough? In the foreseeable future attacks w...
May. 23, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,567
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
May. 23, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,088
Cloud is not a commodity. And no matter what you call it, computing doesn’t come out of the sky. It comes from physical hardware inside brick and mortar facilities connected by hundreds of miles of networking cable. And no two clouds are built the same way. SoftLayer gives you the highest performing cloud infrastructure available. One platform that takes data centers around the world that are full of the widest range of cloud computing options, and then integrates and automates everything. Join SoftLayer on June 9 at 16th Cloud Expo to learn about IBM Cloud's SoftLayer platform, explore se...
May. 23, 2015 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,963