Enterprise Software Success Myth #9
Doug Hadden, VP Products
FreeBalance is a medium-sized Independent Software Vendor (ISV) with considerable success competing against very large Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) vendors. We are sharing 16 lessons learned by bucking conventional wisdom to encourage industry innovation and creativity.
Many organizations believe that the best approach to avoid risk is to acquire technology solutions from the largest vendors. No one very got fired for buying from the largest vendors is the conventional thinking.
Highly complex solutions are acquired from the largest vendors. These solutions become expensive to manage and result in not meeting planned budget, timeliness or benefits. In the course of avoiding risk, the organization has introduced more risk.
- Increasing incidents of enterprise software failures from the largest ERP vendors continue.
- Increasing number of features ensures that solutions from larger vendors are bloated increasing the technical footprint and adding to the maintenance burden
- Loss, through many company acquisitions, of economies of scale with larger vendors who are supporting so many overlapping software applications
- Enterprise software firms leverage legacy software languages that require more effort to add code for extensibility and new features to meet customer needs. The code base is larger.
- Ability to hide enterprise software failure is becoming more difficult.
- Use of risk management techniques to mitigate risk in IT projects including risk identification, analysis, response planning, monitoring and control are in more use. Organizations are beginning to recognize the risks that are implicit in any enterprise software implementation.
- Increased use of IT governance strategies directly with software vendors rather than relying on exclusively on systems integration firms.
- Growing awareness of the impact of non-technical issues and the need for change management to the success of any enterprise software project.
- Use of independent consultants or change management experts to mitigate risk is becoming more preval
- Focus on optimizing the software footprint avoiding “bloatware” that requires additional hardware and power consumption
- Direct involvement in the implementation and participation in the governance structure including committing to product features and delivery
- Focus on a single “vertical market” – government, to provide optimized advice to clients while building in government-specific features
- Holistic approach to customer-support with a customer-centric product development method and eliminating barriers between support, services and product development groups and cross functional SWAT teams when problems arise
- Eliminate forcing customers to upgrade software when it is not needed