I have seen a rapid and shall I say beautiful transformation of the software industry in the last few years. As I see it, I can identify at least “two worlds” in the B2B-software industry at the moment:
- The traditional, where companies spend a huge amount of resources, money and time on solving complex business processes. In large corporations, these are systems we could not live without, and likely this world will continue to see its daylight quite many years ahead.
- The agile, where a large amount of new, often smaller, ready-to-run software is born on a monthly basis. This software is often made with a clear user group in mind, for example software for marketing and sales.
Speaking of marketing and sales, this is a group who have taken over a large part of the companies IT investments during the last years. Companies like Salesforce.com, Mailchimp and WordPress have changed the traditional market and culture. A new culture has been born, where marketing executives themselves can scan the market, find software and in a self-service way evaluate, if the software could help them in their business.
Software for industrial companies has, in my point of view, a more traditional culture. Though we will probably see a whole bunch of agile software for supply chain management (SCM), engineering, quality management and R&D in the next few years.
When agile software approaches traditional cultures, it is obvious that the ways of working and decision-making will change. The agile software gives birth to a new culture, which makes it possible for us to develop more rapidly. We no longer need to respect the norms of traditional culture where implementations need to be global from day 1, projects last months or years and the budgets are astronomic. Instead, the software can be implemented in a few minutes and evaluated by a smaller group to figure out if the software can help us in our business.
Overall, when developing the business I think we no longer need to respect the norms of traditional business cultures. Instead, we need to find new ways how to rapidly develop by trying out new ideas.
So, the technology is and will be more agile, but are we?
Customer Engagement Manager