The Demise of the Enterprise IT Department: A Crisis Point
In ZapThink’s deep conversations with CIOs and other IT decision makers, we find that there’s broad agreement on the multitude of forces conspiring to change every aspect of the way the enterprise does IT. Yet at the same time, everybody’s in denial that these changes will happen to them. For us as outsiders, it certainly looks like many enterprise IT decision makers acknowledge that the world is changing, but deny that they are part of that same world. Of course, such executives simply have their head in the sand. If change is to occur, it will happen to the vast majority of enterprises, not the minority. This realization drives the Crisis Points of the ZapThink 2020 vision. However, ZapThink is not advocating that organizations should adopt any of the Crisis Points. Rather we are observing that these crises are coming whether or not companies are ready for them. In…

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RIP Enterprise Software?
Our friends at Forrester Research recently published a report entitled Enterprise Apps Vendors Have Issues, which reported on a survey of business process and application professionals at 111 enterprises and their beefs about enterprise software. Their top answers in a nutshell: high cost of ownership (91%), difficult upgrades (87%), poor cross-functional processes (86%), apps don’t deliver on business requirements (80%), and inflexibility that limits business process change (75%). This list appalled me for two fundamental reasons. First, there’s absolutely nothing new about these concerns. Forrester might have conducted the same survey ten or even twenty years ago and gotten the same results. Second, weren’t these problems SOA was supposed to solve? ZapThink has been encouraging enterprise software vendors to leverage SOA principles in their software packages for years. In 2006 we discussed what software vendors had to do to leverage SOA best practices to improve their products. By…

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Beemaster ICT: Platform-as-a-Service from the Ground Up
There’s a battle brewing in the Cloud Computing marketplace. Cloud Computing has the platform vendors running scared, because Cloud Computing may eventually replace the need to own enterprise software assets altogether. To deal with this threat, middleware vendors are scrambling to assemble Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings. PaaS is essentially the delivery of a computing platform and/or solution stack as a service. While established middleware vendors are planning to provide provide software to the Cloud providers themselves, the vendors are struggling with existing middleware offerings that are not well-suited to the Cloud environment. To fill this void, Beemaster ICT offers their BeeBox Enterprise Service Bus, a lightweight, Service-oriented integration platform that supports Cloud capabilities as part of its core design, including multitenancy, dynamic provisioning, and support for Virtual Desktop Integration. Beemaster ICT is well-positioned to take on the incumbent middleware vendors with a more innovative, agile offering that promises to meet PaaS…

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Why Cloud Computing Scares the Platform Vendors
There’s a battle brewing in the Cloud Computing marketplace analogous to the SOA platform war fought over the last few years. Just as platform vendors like IBM and Oracle sought to co-opt the SOA story to sell more middleware, leading to customer disillusionment and the “SOA is dead” meme, the battle today is over Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings. PaaS is essentially the delivery of a computing platform and/or solution stack as a service. “We make our money on traditional systems integration,” say the platform vendors, “so let’s move traditional systems integration to the cloud!” After all, you’d think with all the hullabaloo surrounding Cloud Computing, that platform vendors would be jumping into this new area of opportunity with two feet. And in spite of Larry Ellison’s initial resistance, it does seem that the platform players are all over this market. If there’s an opportunity to sell new stuff to their existing…

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Is there a Future for Enterprise Software?
The conversation about the role and future of enterprise software is a continuous undercurrent in the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) conversation. Indeed, ZapThink’s been talking about the future of enterprise software in one way or another for years. So, why bother bringing up this topic again, at this juncture? Has anything changed in the marketplace? Can we learn something new about where enterprise software is heading? The answer is decidedly yes to the latter two questions, and this might be the right time to seriously consider acting on the very things we’ve been talking about for a while.   The first major factor is significant consolidation in the marketplace for enterprise software. While a decade or so ago there were a few dozen large and established providers of different sorts of enterprise software packages, there are now just a handful of large providers, with a…

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