I’ve been reading Umair Haque’s posts for the last year or so and continue to find his insights helpful as he outlines his perspective on how industries and value chains are shifting by applying fundamental economic principles.
His recent take on enterprise software is a good example:
“Scoble notes enterprise software isn’t sexy.
Very true – and very obvious. Not sexy – to the Street, to buyers, to suppliers, to complementors, to much of anyone.
There’s a simple way to make enterprise software sexy – apart from ditching the ridiculously awful jargonized name (I mean, seriously – how can anything called “enterprise xyz” be sexy, unless it’s a starship?).
Enterprise software is lame because it offers little potential for revolutionizing anything – market space, value propositions, industry economics, strategies, etc. That’s why software players are able to create less and less value – the marginal gains to software are shrinking because “enterprise software” only impacts relatively the lowest value of value activities.
Simple version: edge beats core – so investing in software that provides a tiny marginal benefit to activities focused purely on the core is necessarily a losing bet.
In contrast, if software guys started focusing on what’s really wrong with the economy/industries – instead of providing low-value point solutions to minor-league information problems – the sex appeal would happen, in spades.”
Umair’s post resonates with my vision for the future of enterprise software.
I believe the future state of enterprise software will be increasingly “edge-centric” where on-demand, social, device-agnostic, prosumer-driven, flow-based and visual/voice-centric features unlock new value at the edge of the enterprise for both enterprise and consumer (prosumer)users.
UPDATE: as an extension of Umair’s economic perspective, Stowe adds his social apps perspective.
Stowe Boyd reacts to Scoble’s post on why enterprise software isn’t getting the attention of consumer software:
“In my case, the basic orientation of enterprise software is a generation behind so-called consumer software in one critical architectural dimension.
The basic orientation of ‘consumer’ software puts the individual first, at the center of the world. I have written and spoken about this dozens of times (Social = Me First, The Individual Is The New Group, and others). Think of the organization of Facebook, Dopplr, or Flickr, or a hundred other successful social apps.
Enterprise software starts with the premise that the user is an employee, or member of the marketing department, or a minion in the IT department. The users rights and capabilities are tied to membership, not to individual identity.”
Edge beats Core. Individual user first.