Future of software

Once again the guys at AMR Research have published an interesting article setting out where the application software market might be heading. Here are some of the points that appeal to me:

  • Sell into “The Personalized Enterprise”
    Can the software be installed and customized to map the way we want to work.
  • Tools for customization and application development
    How do customers modify your software? Can it be done by the average user?
  • Is the software positioned as a platform
    How do customers find out about third-party partners? Can they rate the software? Take it for a drive? Can they do point-and-click integration with third-party applications?
  • Deploying Web 2.0 functionality
    Can the software handle mashups (the ability to easily integrate other software that wasn’t designed to work with your software, but does).
  • Does the software work for mobile users?
    There are more cellphones than PCs now.
  • Set up a community for your customers
    A web site where visitors to the site can propose a new product, see what others are suggesting, discuss ideas with product managers and other customers; should be open to everyone.
  • How often/frequnetly is your company re-invented?
    The ability to produce a continuous stream of innovation and features that customers want.

The article is all about salesforce.com, the software-as-a-service vendor, but it raised some very important questions for Microsoft, SAP and Oracle to answer.

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