I’m trying to look at the apps business with a fresh eye, presenting a series of radical views about how the application software business ought to work. I’ve been in this business for almost 20 years, and for a long time, I thought it was really interesting and delivered a lot of value.
Now, I think the industry is stuck in a rut. Has anything new happened in this business since Salesforce? Not much.
The biggest loser while this industry spins its wheels? It’s a close call, but if you’re a customer, I think it’s you. Today, anyone buying ERP software, especially on-site ERP software, is paying too much and getting too little.
The second biggest loser? It’s anybody, inside or outside, who’s trying to innovate. It isn’t that $AP (which in this blog will mean any big application software company, not just you know who) is stifling innovation. It’s that the received wisdom and the received ways of doing business are holding them back. They could do better, but they’re stuck in 1996. And they just can’t seem to break out of it.
Is there a solution? Sure there’s a solution. It’s obvious. Stop what you’re doing and change–a lot. If you’re the customer, that’s easy. Don’t buy any more software. And if you’re paying for maintenance, don’t pay any more. And keep on not buying and not paying until the value proposition gets better.
For the software companies, too, it’s also quite easy. I’m sorry to say it, but in software, the really innovative thing is delivering value. Software, that’s easy. But software that people can actually use and do something with? Well…a little dicey. You want to revitalize this business. Try innovating.