Continued interest in software as a service (SaaS) stems from the
pay as you go pricing, constant stream of innovation, rapid deployment
options, and the ability to do an end run around IT. As the number of
options proliferate, enterprises will increasingly lean on SaaS as the
mission critical system. Thus, end users need an enterprise apps
strategy for SaaS that addresses the “I” word - Integration. The
requirements and leadership for integration will lead to the pragmatic
realization that SaaS can no longer be ignored by the IT department.
As organizations brace for the proliferation of SaaS procurements
integration should focus on:
"I don't want 10 developers. I want 3 great ones", is what a client told me when I asked him how his company was responding to the economic crisis. Of course, I think this is good advice even in good times and I think we have gotten away from this is recent years. Why? I think there are couple of reasons:
Outsourcing changed the focus from finding great developers to hiring large numbers of developers.
Project managers and business analysts worked their darndest to separate developers from the business problems that develoeprs need to solve. Agile has mitigated this a bit, but treating developers like machines on an assembly has been in fashion for years now.
There are fewer great developers because back in the day people passionate about software development gravitated towards a career in application development. Now it is a career choice for many and percentage of great developers has been diluted and thus they are harder to find.
I am asking every application development professional I talk to, including you, the following questions:
I know I am in the right business. Over 25 years ago, when I was a junior programmer on Wall Street, I heard the CEO of Citibank, Walter Wriston, say during one of the company meetings that “information about a transaction was going to become more important than a transaction itself”. I pondered on his prediction of the impending information revolution and decided to get into the business. I have not felt sorry ever since.
That is until now. I saw a good portion of my savings plan evaporate, some friends loosing their jobs on Wall Street in droves, and out of control media predicting, what basically amounts to, the end of the world (well, at least economic and social structures) as we know it.
What went wrong? While I am obviously not qualified to comment on the disastrous chain of events and a failure at every single link of the entire credit value chain (yes, I am not going to mention unreasonable social programs, uneducated consumers, greedy bankers and investors, ineffective risk rating agencies, and government regulation paralysis – did I miss anyone?), I am somewhat qualified to partially blame failed Business Intelligence at some levels of the credit value chain.
Inforum’s attendees were treated to a wonderful pre-keynote string
quartet and a booming opening inspirational from both the Las Vegas
Philharmonic Orchestra and the rock band Innovation. As the orchestra
took a bow, Infor’s CEO Jim Schaper, emerged from the conductor’s stand
to the surprise of over 5000 attendees. The ever personable and
charismatic CEO discussed how Infor would help customers compete in an
emerging world of business networks that required innovation to be able
to respond to change. He also spoke of the $325M being invested back
into the product in the next 4 years.
Key innovation announcements from the event include:
I am appalled at what has been happening in the economy lately. Seems like we are moving from one crisis management to another. First it was the oil price increase crisis, now it’s the credit markets crisis, while the oil crisis seems to have disappeared. There are revolutionary approaches to solving these crises being thrown around very lightly and carelessly these days: nationalization of certain industries, redistribution of wealth and other extremist approaches. Haven’t we learned from history? Don’t we know by now that revolutions do not work? It’s been proven time and time again in Soviet Union, China, Cuba and many other nations that revolutions only lead to disasters: terror, holocausts, starvation, turning societies and social structures upside down, and people leading miserable existence. I know. I lived in one of those countries. I do not want to live in another country going through revolution.
The recent announcement of IBM’s Cloud Computing initiatives
represents the latest front in the marketing and delivery battle for
customers, partners, and ISV’s. IBM has pulled together a mix of
existing technologies and new developments into a four pronged attack
that focuses on:
Cloud service delivery to end customers -
leveraging existing Lotus Collaboration technologies (e.g. Sametime
Unyte) and the newly announced Bluehouse, a web-delivered social
networking and collaboration cloud service.
Customer integration of cloud services -
delivering system integrator led practices around salesforce.com and
Success Factors through IBM’s Global Business Services (GBS).
ISV enablement of cloud services - providing ISV’s with tools to design, build, deliver, and market cloud services.
Customer enablement of cloud services - helping customers deploy their own clouds through a suite of enabling technologies known as “Blue Cloud”.
Most modern large enterprise Business Intelligence (BI) tools are very robust and feature rich these days. Up until a few years ago BI users could blame vendors for most of their BI ills. This is getting harder and harder to do. Many of the BI tools, especially the ones reviewed in our latest BI Wave, are very function rich, robust, stable and scalable. However, while the tools have really improved for the better over the last 5, typical BI issues and challenges remain the same as when I first tackled them as a BI programmer over 25 years ago: silo’d implementations, incomplete data sets, dirty data, poor management and governance, heavy reliance on IT, and many more.
We are right now in the middle of running a BI survey, exploring these and other BI issues. While the results are still pouring in, the preliminary findings are 100% supportive of the evidence we’ve collected qualitatively and anecdotally over the past few years:
Not all data is available in BI applications
Data is less than 100% trustworthy
BI applications are somewhat difficult to learn, use and navigate
Most of the reports and dashboards are developed by IT, not end users