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Business Intelligence

Software is a Consumable of the Future and Not a Differentiator

Quinton Pienaar, CEO of Agilitude, the salesforce.com reseller in Africa says that the success of modern businesses will lie in their ability to not only produce great software, but to embrace the enterprise business as tomorrow’s consumer. This evolution will see software rapidly moving into a more customer-focused environment concentrating on high-collaboration and increased stakeholder involvement. “Although consumerised software is already evident in Agile development, it will continue to become a mainstream practice as more businesses realise the need for systems that align to a connected, inspired customer’s needs.”

This will see the inevitable evolution of the enterprise virtual consumer character whose needs will have to be accommodated for now, and into the future. Forrester Research reports that enterprises are placing a higher priority on other types of software aside from core functions, showing increasing support for more flexible and powerful consumer-focused solutions.

Pienaar says this approach is already evident with nearly every industry today focusing on software as a basic requirement and not just a differentiator: “Great examples include the automotive industry, which is using on-board computers and apps to enrich the customer experience and airlines improving on-board entertainment and extending it into customer relationship management systems.” He says that industries from gaming to retail are also making use of software to offer customers a better experience and enhance retention, all of which has a dramatic affect on software development.

Part of this consumer approach to the enterprise is to view mobile as the primary design platform and web as the secondary platform. This methodology is driving the decline of desktop-based software: “Desktop application development will be found in very small niche environments as the larger, more complex environments look to the cloud and web for answers to a number of current challenges.”

As this traditional development becomes less appealing, Pienaar says the rise of alternatives such as platform development will start to gain momentum: “Salesforce.com or Amazon EC2 will become more popular as the demands of the business change and cost factors become more pertinent.”  He says that a significant amount of time and development costs go into infrastructure design and deployment to ensure the stability of the end product.

“This will drive adoption of platform development where time and effort can be focused on creating solutions customers want and need, and not on designing the infrastructure it runs on. Platform development is faster and cheaper than traditional development and offers mobile, API, social and other features as default with no requirement to develop these core functionalities from scratch.”

 


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