As much as I like open source, there is something to be said for not having to install or maintain applications. But that doesn't mean it's smart or realistic to move all the applications in your enterprise to on-demand delivery.
As Gary Rivlin writes in today's NY Times "few software companies make the move to platform status" let alone the ones that have no footprint on the desktop. This is something I noted back in September after the Dreamforce event which reinforced my belief that enterprise software isn't going anywhere--at least not infrastructure software.
In the case of infrastructure (like networking and integration), and desktop environments (like Windows) it's hard to get excited about doing everything through a browser. Not that it?s a bad idea, but as I learned on my trip to Japan last week it's not entirely feasible at this point to do everything via the internet. Rivlin writes:
And yet for Benioff, the company's chief executive, that is not enough. He wants to turn Salesforce into a platform like Microsoft's Windows operating system, a product so popular that it is the foundation for a veritable ecosystem of software developers.
If you at the on-demand subscription offerings from Microsoft and SAP, both mediocre by comparison to Salesforce.com or SugarCRM (also available open source) the main advantage they have is that the existing user base is tied to a set of desktop applications which reinforce the desktop computing paradigm. … Read more