Integrated Software? Really?
Just read an article about Oracle in an IT trade mag, focused on Oracle’s drive to provide comprehensive integrated software solutions. What struck me immediately is how unrealistic this objective is. Why?
- There’s always something new. A work environment doesn’t stop at the desktop any more, so virtually anything can be part of the workspace. Twitter is now a work tool. So is IM, Expensify, and Tripit. Any worthwhile marketing solution these days is web-based (excluding analytics, more on that some other day), and with improved integration options, these solutions can be part of the workspace in minutes.
- Someone else does it better. Expensify is a great example of this as well. Fast, easy, inexpensive, and I can (and have done) expense reports while waiting to board a plane.
- It’s virtually impossible to change everything. Ripping out one system and replacing it with another is tough enough. Doing that to every system is essentially impossible. A long-term migration plan to consolidate on one platform is great, but by the time its done, most of the apps will be obsolete by someone else (see #1 and #2).
Why is this on my mind? I’m seeing big companies (and I mean really big) try out ideas for the first time in a long time, using tools that would never have been considered just a few years ago. It’s great – finally the SV mindset of using right tool for the job is gaining acceptance everywhere.
I think the separation between mission critical and not so mission critical is allowing interesting ideas to flower, extending, improving, and leveraging the talent already on hand. While my area of interest is focused on marketing, this trend seems to be everywhere now, and bodes well for the future competitiveness of US companies.