We see great potential for users who wish to exploit next-generation enterprise software to gain competitive edge. But we also see how surveying all available options can lead to confusion. Much of the confusion stems from the too common misconception that all it takes to create a next-gen solution is to incorporate any or all of the following technologies: Cloud, BI, AI, IoT, Web, or SaaS.
But savvy users will not fall into this trap; they will separate applications that have had a face-lift and tummy tuck from those built on an underlying architecture and platform that can effectively use newer technologies.
There is nothing inherently wrong with migrated applications, but users and buyers of such applications should know what they are getting: an old piece of software with a new paint job that may not fit well with the future of business.
Cloud computing has become hot buttons among users seeking the latest things and maximize price/performance. But catchphrases can be misleading. Some of the companies promoting cloud – particularly those with heavy backpacking – use today’s buzzwords to sell what is essentially legacy applications that have been ported to the cloud.
While such apps may serve a user’s tactical need to get to a cloud platform, they are not structurally different from their legacy. They are even less appealing as apps with micro-service architectures provides extensive extendability created for public cloud platforms are increasingly available. Disruptive technology is quickly killing off older software.
Vendors are also split on how to meet increasing demand for progressive web user interfaces. Some vendors are attempting to bolt on a new UI to their old and rigid legacy screens. These types of swaps may work for some applications, but in most cases, they fall short of expectations in terms of mobility and usability.
The data model ideal of today belongs to a different paradigm as it is based on effective in-memory computing and integration. You cannot migrate old apps to do that with success. The advantages of modern apps cannot be an after-thought. Users should be watchful of vendor claims that software from the previous decade (or older) have been modernized for the new era of enterprise computing.
Users looking to standardize its applications in the public cloud must take heed. Wishful thinking have prompted many software vendors to encapsulate old code as a way to hide its complexity. But that is mostly cosmetic and definitely make the whole implementation less transparent. As a result, these apps fail to deliver on the promise of flexibility, and cost-efficiency.
The extensibility capability have also fallen prey to exaggerated claims. Changing and integrating applications nearly without writing any code is great. But users must carefully examine the extent to which these claims are true and how well these tools play together with their applications.
The bottom line when shopping for new applications is caveat emptor, or buyer beware. Vendors will not necessarily volunteer all the information you need. And a traditional checklist will not be enough for distinguishing next-gen enterprise apps from manipulated legacy systems. Such distinctions can only be made through exacting research and tough questioning.
Where enterprise applications stands today reminds me of the farewell of Rick and Ilsa in the movie of Casablanca. Rick (Humphrey Bogart), encouraging her (Ingrid Bergman) to leave, says, “If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.”
Enterprise apps might not be the material for heroic movies, but the result is just as inevitable. Maybe you can wait a while, but if you ignore the power of next-gen apps, you will regret it. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for… Oh, you get the point.