By Robert Fox, VP Emerging Technologies, Liaison Technologies
I am currently reading a great book about enterprise software entitled ‘How to Succeed in the Enterprise Software Market’ by Craig Le Clair. Even though the book was published back in 2005, many of the core ideas and principles still apply.
I found an interesting section entitled ‘Risk Profile and Fear of Change’ that I thought was worth highlighting. Craig states on page 24:
“When it comes to risk, the attitude of the software company is in conflict with the attitude of the customer. The software company is more prone to risk. They have accepted risk as part of their job, that is, pushing new technology into new markets is inherently a risky pursuit. Unlike the initial team from the software company, the customer must live with the system for a long time. Their job and career will be affected and they tend to be more risk adverse.”
Pair this statement with the state of technology and the current rate of change. This is evidenced by the fact that my reference to this book from 2005 implied it is dated. Dated? It’s true! Many of the examples are completely valid, but they themselves are already dated, a mere 7 years later.
Consider this quote from Bill Gates:
“The 21st century will be about velocity: the speed of business and the speed of change, businesses need radically better information flow. To get a better flow of information to develop the right processes and strategies, they need a digital nervous system.”
This puts the customer in a rather interesting position, risk-adverse, but if the customer fails to act, business can be quickly impacted.
I point this out not to advertise a particular company’s products and or services, or a specific approach to designing and developing enterprise software. I point this out because it is important to recognize, from a vendor’s point of view, the struggle that the consumer goes through in selecting and implementing an enterprise solution.
As the book points out, many times from a technical perspective, a solution may increase efficiency and reduce cost, but ultimately fail because it did not take into consideration human behavior and psychology. Once again, humans are resistant to change – risk adverse, but change is not only good, in many cases, it’s required.
Just a few thoughts to kick around…