The Trouble With Software (and what to do about it)


What role does customization play in The Trouble With Software?

Posted in Customization by Ernie Schell on November 21, 2011

Gordon Huff, RedHat’s Cloud Guru, writes:
“on-premise enterprise software was historically highly customized and adapted to the specific requirements and workflows of the organization using it. Entire categories of software with acronyms like EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) and EII (Enterprise Information Integration) came into being to tie processes and software components together.

“Such customization and adaptation didn’t come cheap of course. Large checks written to consulting organizations were part and parcel of the package. Rolling in new software could also take years. And then there are the legal costs when such projects fail.

“It’s therefore not surprising that the SaaS concept is interesting to enterprises. And some SaaS vendors like Salesforce.com do indeed provide a rich set of interfaces that allow both users and third parties to extend their basic applications. Nonetheless, SaaS is much more of a take-it-or-leave-it proposition than traditional enterprise software.

“But for many types of applications in many organizations, that’s actually a good thing.

“Everyone wants to have it their way. It’s natural. It can also lead to fairly silly and expensive outcomes at an organizational level. I’ve heard people at very small (as in fewer than 10 employees) businesses passionately argue that hosted Google Apps were too inflexible for their needs and that they therefore needed to operate their own Exchange server. And, at large enterprises, millions may be spent to align with ingrained business processes.”

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