As I was marveling at the velocity in the iPhone ecosystem a couple of weeks ago I was looking at a client's list of aging software contracts. Most of the vendors want "uplift" fees for the older releases, not lowered ones reflecting software which hardly gets any enhancement and for which the client support calls have been minimal. It was quite a stark contrast.
Then I have a conversation with Dennis Howlett about SAP's Business ByDesign. He is excited about how the mid-market has never before seen such an integrated enterprise piece of software. And I shrug my shoulders and go SAP delivered that integration 25 years ago in R/2. For me, reading BusinessSolutions magazine, the excitement in the mid-market is around RFID, Wi-Fi, scanners,VoIP not another piece of enterprise software.
Then I see Oracle try its "makeup" at E2.0 and ask - why is Oracle just talking about light applications when it has charged its customers billions to deliver the next-gen, Fusion enterprise class applications. Why is there still not much news about that years after they were announced?
Then I see my EI colleagues and others argue about multi-tenancy in SaaS. Ok, important architectural discussion but does the person in the warehouse, field, trading, hospital or plant floor really give two hoots? Where is SaaS functionality for those workers?
Then I see Sam Lawrence's elegant post about the "enterprise octopus" and why the next generation of social, collaborative applications will be better. And I drool over his graphics, but ask the same question as above. How does it make the life of folks in the warehouse, field, trading, hospital or plant floor better?
And the answer, unfortunately is, sensors, and scanners and mobile devices have been helping them a lot more than in recent years than enterprise software has. While enterprise software continues to increase its part of the IT budget faster than other tech categories.
Steve Jobs: know you are busy, but in your remaining waking hours, can you please come in and shake up the enterprise software industry?