Things Change

Four Disruptions That Will Transform the Software Industry
by: Jerry Liao

Due to innovations happening so fast, the I.T. industry practically is having ‘change’ for breakfast almost everyday. Weekly you get to hear announcements of new services, new products, new partnerships and more.

Eversince I was introduced to I.T., the three components has always been hardware, software and peopleware. The hardware transformation and transition have been very obvious. From the mainframe to desktop, notebooks and now netbooks and nettops. For manpower, developers should continue learning the latest programming techniques and tools to stay competitive. And lastly, software – from writing codes to visual programming, now we see Web 2.0 emerging due to the pervasiveness of the Internet.

Well it seems more changes will be coming our way with this new study released by Gartner:

Emerging software solutions will transform the software industry and the way software is used over time, according to Gartner, Inc. Software solutions are changing to be user-centric, Web-centric, service-oriented and utilized through new delivery models (such as cloud and software as a service). While this massive amount of change will not be delivered at once, it will cause significant disruptions to the industry.

Yvonne Genovese, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, identified the four major disruptions to the software industry as the following:

Disruptor No. 1: Rise in New Technologies and Convergence of Existing Technologies — The IT market has reached a period of accelerated change and innovation in how IT is applied and delivered to businesses and consumers. Technology changes that have been centered on SOA migration have now been augmented to include business process management, device portability and mashup-capable content. By 2010, Web mashups will be the dominant model for the creation of composite enterprise applications.

“Mashup popularity stems from the ease with which mashups can be created. Because mashup applications can be created on the fly, they open up possibilities for a new class of more short-term or disposable applications that could never meet the criteria for corporate investment,” said Ms. Genovese. “Another benefit is that users can easily personalize mashup content displays. Mashups can resolve issues such as content aggregation and the needs of business users to have the personal flexibility to do different things by combining data from within and outside the enterprise.”

Disruptior No. 2: Change in Software User and Support Demographics — Changes in how, where and when we work, as well as new ways for companies to fulfill their needs via the Internet are fundamentally changing the structure of business. By 2015, no company will build or sustain a competitive advantage unless it capitalizes on the combined power of individualized behaviors, social dynamics and collaboration.

“Most current software is focused on general enterprise needs rather than user-specific needs,” Ms. Genovese said. “The opportunity for business and IT leaders is to understand how the individualization of work will affect businesses, critical processes, innovation and interenterprise collaboration. End-user preferences will decide as much as half of all software, hardware and service acquisitions made by IT.”

Disruptor No. 3: Revolutionary Changes in Software and How it is Consumed — By 2010, SOA will be used in part in more than 80 percent of new, mission-critical applications and business processes. The resulting future application environment will be more granular, inclusive and fluid to enable rapid composition, integration, orchestration and reuse. During 2008 and 2009, organizations must radically re-engineer their processes, governance and disciplines to initiate and manage this transition as well as evaluate and manage external and off-premises delivery of applications.

“Market excitement over Web platforms, SaaS and other IT utility services will only intensify, and this will increase business buyers’ appetites for these new options and services,” said Ms. Genovese. “This period will see huge changes in all facets of the IT market including clients, providers, investors, business and IT professionals and consumers.”

Disruptor No. 4: Software Market Moves to Megavendors Supporting Large Ecosystems — Software megavendors have proven their impact and influence over customer spending across a range of markets. Megavendors seek to dominate enterprise architecture and the terms of integration in multivendor portfolios. Focused vendors must coexist with other applications and with enterprise architecture. As the transformation to SOA for packaged applications and the exposing and manipulation of process metadata become minimum requirements for the next generation, it is megavendors that will have the resources, and focused vendors that will have the incentive. However, focused, best-of-breed vendors face a long time before a next generation of open, composite applications drives the market and opens it to a wider range of vendors.

“We see rapidly changing technology in an industry that seems to be maturing. Vendors are focusing more on the ‘business of software’ rather than solely on product competition. Users faced with increased vendor power and lower price flexibility are looking for alternatives, containment strategies and ways to lower vendor switch costs. How the vendors react to these changes and pressures will be the basis for changes in their competition over the next five years,” said Ms. Genovese.

With changes like that happening to software, we can expect that hardware changes will come. Most of all, people who are involved in I.T. should also reinvent themselves. Otherwise, they will become a thing of the past before they even know it.

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