Daily Archives: March 7, 2006

Distributed, Not Stacked

For a long time the software industry focused on building up stacks of technology designed for developing new applications.
But that’s not what customers need anymore. For the most part, they already have enough features, functions, and capabilities. In some cases probably even more than enough.
What customers need is a better approach. One that allows them to distribute a new kind of software to improve what they already have and make it more useful.
We are at a very interesting point in the software industry maturity cycle. People don’t need more IT, they need better IT.
In other words, when software started out we used to think broadly in terms of what new features and functions were needed for new applications to be developed, what previously manual part of the business needed to be automated, what computers couldn’t yet do but should. This adoption cycle drove a particular type of innovation. Everyone was busy inventing new features and functions so that more and more business transactions could be automated.
But we don’t need to do that anymore. We have pretty much already automated all business transactions. What we need is to find a better way to do it, to share data across applications, to reuse existing investments, to eliminate duplication and cost, and to establish a more predictable way to modify and change the applications.
In short, the industry needs a different kind of software. Not the stack of features and functions designed for new application development, but a kernel of distributed software capable of modernizing and improving existing software — providing just the right amount of added value (and at the right price of course) to solve today’s problems.
Yesterday’s software just won’t do it – certainly not at any reasonable price.