We spend a lot of time talking to business managers about how their
operations run. The perspective that we commonly face is one of "this is how
we do it; we are looking for software to do it better." But from a business
perspective, that is the wrong approach.
First, the pain of software adoption is significant, and relatively
insensitive to scope of change involved. Whether your software project is
small or extensive, employees are going to be unhappy about it for anywhere
between a couple of weeks and several months. But with all change, people
eventually adjust and move on, and pretty soon what was so traumatic becomes
the new standard.
Second, the opportunity to get creative and completely re-engineer how your
business works is priceless and rare. Software projects are exactly that
opportunity. The business value to be gained from rebuilding your processes
The debate has raged for some time now about the exact definition of a 5GL.
One might argue that there also is still some debate going on about what
exactly is a Platform as a Service PaaS. Throw together two semi-ambiguous
industry-specific buzzwords and what do you get? Well, for all of you
cynics out there, the answer is NOT "a great marketing opportunity!"
In all seriousness, taken together, the two do represent an ambitious vision
of the future; a world where the "non-programmer", i.e. someone who does not
have experience "writing code", can quickly create flexible softwar... (more)
Too often, discussions about "cloud computing" are met with skepticism and
inside jokes that it is more about marketing than it is about delivering real
value. In his excellent analysis of why Cloud Computing is disruptive, Ric
Telford over at IBM disagree's. He talks about a number of key factors that
create a disruptive technology, which he defines as the ability to rapidly
displace existing technologies. He mentions things like ease of use,
empowerment and efficiency. He alludes to dramatic productivity gains and
cost reductions, and he uses real examples.
I am particular... (more)
In the previous two weeks, I wrote about why the cloud is important to you
as a business leader and provided some rationale for economic justification
of cloud adoption.
Over the next three weeks, I will take apart the three key components that
comprise the cloud: infrastructure, platform and software as a service. Each
is delivered as a cloud-based service. With an understanding of these
components, you will be able to keep your eyes and ears open for
opportunities to significantly impact your organization's top and bottom
The main topic of this week and the most fundamen... (more)
Most businesses have an accounting system that makes sense for them. However,
an accounting system by itself is far from an efficiently automated billing
process. Because the accounting system usually is a silo that is wholly
separate from other operational activities of the company, keeping its
information current often creates the need for multiple redundant entries of
the same data, inefficiencies and sources of error.
Additionally, because the accounting system was designed to hold accounting
data only, there often is a conflict over the need to hold extra data in one
system ... (more)