Gartner: Four Disruptions That Will Transform the Software Industry

Are we near the end of the software industry as we know it? Yes, declared an industry watcher today at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo. Analyst Yvonne Genovese says Web-centric and service-oriented solutions are radically reshaping IT's options.

Change is not just a political hot topic these days. According to a Gartner analyst, four emerging software solutions are reshaping software as we know it and will likely cause major disruptions to vendors and how the software industry delivers its products and services.

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"Four overarching trends are reshaping how IT is used in the workplace. Each of these megatrends or disruptors must be evaluated to determine if it will have an effect on the business," said Yvonne Genovese, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Fla.

These software solutions are "changing to be user-centric, Web-centric, service-oriented and utilized through new delivery models, such as cloud and software as a service," noted Genovese, in a press release from the event.

Here are the four major disruptions to the software industry that Genovese has identified:

Disruptor No. 1: Rise in New Technologies and Convergence of Existing Technologies. "The IT market has reached a period of accelerated change and innovation in how IT is applied and delivered to businesses and consumers," states the release. "Technology changes that have been centered on SOA migration have now been augmented to include business process management, device portability and mashup-capable content."

By 2010, for example, Genovese predicts that Web mashups will be the "dominant model" for the creation of composite enterprise applications. (To read about Oracle's efforts on its next-gen applications, see "Oracle Fusion Applications: Is 2010 Delivery Too Little, Too Late, or Smart Strategy?")

"Mashup popularity stems from the ease with which mashups can be created. Because mashup applications can be created on the fly, they open up possibilities for a new class of more short-term or disposable applications that could never meet the criteria for corporate investment," says Genovese. "Another benefit is that users can easily personalize mashup content displays. Mashups can resolve issues such as content aggregation and the needs of business users to have the personal flexibility to do different things by combining data from within and outside the enterprise."

Disruptor No. 2: Change in Software User and Support Demographics. Changes in how, where and when everyone works, as well as innovative methods in how companies obtain their software using the Internet, are fundamentally altering the structure of business. By 2015, Genovese says, no company will be able to build or sustain a competitive advantage unless "it capitalizes on the combined power of individualized behaviors, social dynamics and collaboration."

"Most current software is focused on general enterprise needs rather than user-specific needs," Genovese says. "The opportunity for business and IT leaders is to understand how the individualization of work will affect businesses, critical processes, innovation and inter-enterprise collaboration. End-user preferences will decide as much as half of all software, hardware and service acquisitions made by IT." (See "P&G Flirts with Google Apps and Scares the Bejesus Out of Microsoft" for an inside account of why P&G users wanted to use Google Apps.)

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