The first image that comes to my mind when I think about business computing is the dystopic scene from the 1984 Apple commercial: A swarm of employees wearing the same uniforms and marching in unison into their offices where they are forced to use certain devices and software.
They sit down in front of their PCs, open a business application their company paid millions of dollars to implement and, in a disciplined manner, fill out forms to populate the company’s database so their managers will be happy.
The Anya Major in this dystopic scene is the consumerization of enterprise software. The term “consumerization” was first used, in the context of enterprise software, by Kevin Efrusy from Accel Partners back in 2008. You probably heard about it before. Heck, there’s even a SXSW panel discussing this subject, which means it really went mainstream. What is missing from the conversation though is a good look at the root causes and more importantly, at the implications of this phenomenon.
There are three key paradigm shifts that accelerate the consumerization of business software:
The consumerization of collaboration and productivity tools starts with small workgroups that adopt a specific tool. At some point, the CIO notices that different groups are using the same external product. This means that the company’s data is not centralized anymore which is not making the CIO happy.
The “cloud” and the Software as a Service model were the last innovations in enterprise software. There were not a lot of changes in other aspects of the software though. For most, they remind dull applications running on regular PC computers and sold to CIOs. Consumerization is changing that and is doing it fast.
Here are three predictions on how consumerization will change the face of business computing forever:
It will take another 3-5 years but it is inevitable. The revolution is already here and like always it starts from the bottom, with new and smaller companies adopting new apps. It will then move quickly upstream to medium businesses and eventually to bigger enterprises. The devices and software that we will use in our work environments will be dramatically different.
True, this might not be as exciting as Unicorns boards on Pinterest and many people ask me why I’m in the business of enterprise software vs. being in the consumer internet. My answer is that I’m in the business of people. Happy, productive, empowered people that have the freedom to choose great software.
Image credit Moxiesoft.com
Uzi Shmilovici is an internet entrepreneur. He co-founded Netcraft - an Israeli web agency in 2003. Over the years, Netcraft set the tone and became an industry leader in Israel, setting standards in user experience, design and development for the web. Those achievements were recognized when he was named one of the Top-40 Israeli Internet Startup Professionals by TheMarker Magazine in 2008 (the most prominent business magazine in Israel). Netcraft was later acquired by Tapuz, a leading Israeli internet...
Frustrated by their own experience with other CRMs, the team founded Base believing that businesses deserve better, smarter, more intuitive software. Tens of thousands of customers later, Base continues to lead the Post-PC revolution with a product that makes their customers 10x more productive.