A friend and I were discussing the state of software adoption yesterday. Our kids were floating down a river toward us, and we had plenty of time to talk about our respective companies as the kids kept repeating the trip.
It struck both of us that the problem with enterprise software is that it tends to forget how people actually work. Things like CRM, ECM, etc., tend to require users to change their normal behavior to fit the application. As a result, they tend to not get used, or at least not unless someone threatens to withhold compensation.
In the Web 2.0 world, Tim O'Reilly has spent the last few years advocating "architectures of participation" (meaning, as Tim further clarifies, that "users pursuing their own 'selfish' interests build collective value as an automatic byproduct" of their participation). But in most enterprise software, users must spin extra cycles to provide group value, e.g., they spend all day in e-mail or on the phone but then have to go to a Web page to record their sales activities in a CRM system.
Surely we're missing something.… Read more