Enterprise Software's Seven-Year Itch

Dennis Byron

InformationWeek Analytics is distributing new survey results about enterprise applications that ask "Time To Give Your Enterprise Software the Boot?"




The report opens with the words, "Early adopters find software services have positives that outweigh their limitations and make them solid alternatives to conventional software." That may be true, but the data indicates to me more that the seven-year itch still holds for enterprise applications.


The InformationWeek report says many organizations are dissatisfied "with classic licensed software," but its data says different: 70 percent of respondents say they are very or mostly satisfied and another 26 percent say they are "satisfied with some systems." (I am not sure what the latter means.)


More telling than satisfaction levels: Only between 10 percent to 15 percent of respondents said they would likely be changing their financial/HR/ERP software over the next 24 months. That's the typical every-seven-year turnover of applications that the independent software market has experienced since its beginnings in the 1970s (and that the systems market has experienced since before then).


Part of the reason that readers can draw different conclusions from the InformationWeek data is that the survey seems to mix up software functionality, software delivery and software licensing. It talks about "conventional software," Software as a Service (SaaS) and open source as if they are different and exclusive things. Don't fall into that trap as you go through the annual cycle of considering what software you will change. Do not exclude good functionality because it is or isn't delivered as a service or is or isn't available in source form.


What are your enterprise software update/upgrade plans?

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