Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Destiny Bertucci, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Stackify Blog

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Post

Is This the End of Enterprise Software?

The future of enterprise computing is the platform

The future of enterprise software is the platform. No software company has all the smart people in the world on its payroll. Apple recognized this and created the App Store. Google are now doing the same. These new cloud platforms will unleash unprecedented innovation and creativity throughout all areas of business and the web, with thousands of new apps being created that will revolutionize IT.

Enterprise software has always been unpopular - it has always been expensive, slow, complex and clunky. The only people who actually like it are the software vendors who sell it, and the armies of integrators and consultants who struggle to make it work.

The "consumerization of the enterprise" is an idea that's been around for a few years, but it's now at a tipping point, and from here on we will see a rapidly accelerating shift to a new generation of business software systems that have a lot more in common with Facebook, Google and Twitter than with the kinds of ERP, CRM and SCM systems and database/data warehouse technologies that business professionals have had to put up with for decades.

Why now? Two reasons: (1) because we have to, and (2) because for the first time, we can!

We Have To Change
We have to, because today's enterprise software simply doesn't deliver what's required for business today. As Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO, said recently

“Why isn’t all enterprise software like Facebook?”

"Today, realtime information is possible, which has changed everything: How people consume information has changed, how people learn things about each other has changed, and how people stay current has changed. Most of all, our expectations around immediacy have changed."

"Market shifts happen in real time, deals are won and lost in real time, and data changes in real time. Yet the software we use to run our enterprises is in anything but real time."

For any business to be competitive today, it needs to have the ability to continuously analyze vast quantities of data in realtime - all kinds of data about customers, partners, employees, competitors, marketing, advertising, pricing, infrastructure, and operations. Today what's needed is smart IT systems that can automatically analyze, filter and push exactly the right data to business users in realtime, just when they need it.

Does that sound like your existing ERP system? Does it sound like the data warehouse system you were recently offered at the bargain price of two million dollars? Probably not. Many data warehouses today are often jokingly referred to as "write only" systems, data goes in continuously, but nothing of much value ever seems to come out.

Today's enterprise software was architected around databases and data warehouses back in the 1980s and 1990s because at that time the world was pre-web, data volumes were small, no one was grappling with information overload, 100% of the data required by employees was internal business data, and that data was highly structured and organized in simple tables. Users could pull data from the database whenever they realized they needed it.

Today, everything has changed. Everyone is grappling constantly with information overload, both in their work and in their social life. Most data today is unstructured, and most of it is in files, streams or feeds, rather than in structured tables. Many of the data streams are realtime, and constantly changing. At work, most of the data required by employees is now external data, from the web, from analytics tools, and from monitoring systems of all kinds.

So we need to move beyond today's enterprise software, simply because it doesn't deliver what's required in this new era of realtime business and the realtime web.

OK. So...

Can We Do It?
Yes, we can! And cloud computing is accelerating the trend.

Firstly, there are no fundamental technical impediments. Google, Facebook, Twitter and other consumer web services have clearly shown that it is possible to build powerful realtime software architectures that process vast quantities of data continuously, are easy-to-use, engaging and informative for users, and can scale to handle very large numbers of users.

Secondly, it's already happening. Email moved to the cloud more than ten years ago, office software from Microsoft, Google and others is also now in the cloud, collaboration tools and enterprise social networks are available. The consumerization of the enterprise is already underway.

But it's quite a different game from the one that's been playing for the past 25 years. Earlier this week, Google Enterprise President Dave Girouard was asked how the Google Apps Marketplace, their cloud computing app store, fits into Google’s broader strategy for business apps. "For one thing", he said, "it means the company can build fewer apps". Google are not planning to roll out, say, a CRM system, or a human resources management app, or project management tools. Indeed, it seems unlikely that they would ever build "enterprise-only apps". What Google are instead doing is building a platform for others to build apps. That's the future. Just ask Apple. If Apple had attempted to build all of the apps in the app store we would probably have about 13 by now, instead of 130,000.

The Platform
The future is to build mass market consumer platforms that can achieve global adoption, and then to migrate those into the enterprise. That way, the transition between social life and work will be much more seamless. You'll be using essentially the same tools and technologies at home and at work. The key to doing this successfully is to build platforms that are both powerful and flexible, but also really easy to use. Ease of use is critical in the consumer space, and it will be equally critical in future in the enterprise space.

The core of enterprise computing today is handling "Big Data", the continuously flowing rivers of realtime data that drive modern business. Next week Cloudscale will be commercially launching the Cloudcel platform, the first realtime, massively parallel cloud platform for Big Data Apps. Usable in minutes by anyone who can use Excel, Cloudcel enables non-programmers to simply and quickly develop powerful new apps on massive data sets and live data streams. The platform can be used to easily and quickly develop new apps in any of the areas where data is now growing exponentially - business, web, science, government, finance, and in the world of sensors and smart grids. With over 100 million Excel power users around the world, it has the potential to achieve major impact across a very broad area.



The future of enterprise software is clearly "the platform". No software company has all the smart people in the world on its payroll. Apple recognized this and created the App Store. Google are now doing the same. These new cloud platforms will unleash unprecedented innovation and creativity throughout all areas of business and the web, with thousands of new apps being created that will revolutionize IT. Whether it's the Google platform or the Microsoft platform for office apps, the Salesforce platform for customer apps, or the Cloudcel platform for big data apps, the enterprise is going to start to look quite different over the next few years.

Not Quite The End. Yet!
It will undoubtedly take a while for the consumerization of the enterprise to fully play out, take a while for the last of the complex, legacy ERP, CRM, SCM and data warehouse systems to be replaced, but there's no doubt that we're now at the tipping point. The shift to cloud computing that's taking place will accelerate this transition over the next two years, and there are good reasons for optimism that the related platform shift will actually happen more quickly than many currently expect. As Winston Churchill might have said, we're not at the end of enterprise software yet, but we're certainly at the beginning of the end.

More Stories By Bill McColl

Bill McColl left Oxford University to found Cloudscale. At Oxford he was Professor of Computer Science, Head of the Parallel Computing Research Center, and Chairman of the Computer Science Faculty. Along with Les Valiant of Harvard, he developed the BSP approach to parallel programming. He has led research, product, and business teams, in a number of areas: massively parallel algorithms and architectures, parallel programming languages and tools, datacenter virtualization, realtime stream processing, big data analytics, and cloud computing. He lives in Palo Alto, CA.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
wasnotwas 03/15/10 10:17:00 PM EDT

Actually, I think it's more like "the end of the beginning" for enterprise software. Clouds are great, clouds are good, clouds are still inherently (perceived as) more risky for sensitive data than keeping it locked up in your glass house. Internal clouds are just another way of capital justification.

When cloud APIs mature to the point where they become the business equivalent of C++/Java and the players have also matured to the point where those APIs are interoperable and federated services are the rule, then we'll see the beginning of the end for enterprise software.

But guess what? The same players that are the big dogs in enterprise software today will still be the big dogs in the enterprise cloud.

Yes, I'm a heretic, but the more things change..

@ThingsExpo Stories
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...