How the Cloud Changes Enterprise Software

Over on ReadWrite, Jeetu Patel, the GM of EMC Synplicity, writes about the impact of SaaS software on enterprise software.

It’s a pretty typical list-of-things-guest-post.

Lots of good points and one that just doesn’t go far enough.

The Number Two thing SaaS will change about enterprise software forever is “Simplicity Trumps Feature-Rich.”

Here’s the explanation:

For decades, enterprise software providers have jammed features into their products to meet every IT and user need. The mobile first, cloud-computing world is all about apps that do one thing really, really well. A portfolio of simple, elegant products that are easy to use and easy to implement makes more sense than a complex, comprehensive solution with a long roll-out time and a steep learning curve.

via ReadWrite

Really?

Salesforce and Box have plenty of features and are SaaS.

I’ve blogged previously about how most of the innovation in the HR sector are cloud vendors. Is Workday somehow short of features?

How about Netsuite in the ERP Market?

True – Some cloud vendors might be 1-dimensional. But, its just not right to suggest that SaaS or cloud-based vendors aren’t feature-complete or feature-rich.

It’s Convenience, not Simplicity

The cloud does change the game but not because cloud-vendors lack features or are more simple.

SaaS vendors are just really easy use. They are easy to test drive so people can experiment before needing to make a huge upfront investment. Often, you can get going with a credit card in an afternoon. Sometimes, its free.

This is a game-changer.

In his book, The New Kingmakers, Redmonk Analyst, Stephen O’Grady, makes the case for convenience quite elegantly:

Given two technologies, the one that’s easier to obtain, configure, and use will usually be the one that wins. Convenience trumps features – even in situations where the more-convenient project is functionally inferior.

via The New Kingmakers

This is a more accurate and more nuanced understanding of how the cloud effects enterprise software.

It’s not just about simplicity or features. It’s about getting the chance to play with the product immediately.

The internet era is all about Instant Gratification.

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