Tipping point predicted for enterprise software by 2015

But TechnologyOne says it's ‘dressed and ready to go'

The death knell sounded for traditional ERP solutions at a lunch in Sydney yesterday when Longhaus presented a research paper, commissioned by TechnologyOne, predicting a tipping point in the business software industry between now and 2015.

Events and innovations of the last twelve years, such as Y2K, social computing and smart devices, and a fundamental shift in the technology adoption landscape from boardroom to lounge room were cited as endangering the survival of the traditional ERP species.

Longhaus' paper; ‘Australian enterprises and the evolving enterprise application market', draws on the ‘TechnologyOne 2010 Enterprise Applications Study', which surveyed 105 ICT professionals evenly split between the public and private sectors.

The paper highlighted a number of key markers of change in the business software industry that will lead to a new breed of ‘next generation enterprise applications'.

Longhaus Research Director Sam Higgins defined these as: "browser-based, deployed on a distributed (n-tier) service-oriented middleware platform, supporting a wide range of relationship management capabilities and containing integrated business intelligence and content management capabilities as a core function of the user experience".

He added that this new breed of business application would have to be capable of being moved to the cloud with the same code-base, and that configuration ability should be eliminated so no recoding would be required.

"The new generation of business software users expect a rich new generation web experience and to have integrated business intelligence and content management so all the data is presented to them, rather than having to seek it out across disparate solutions," Mr Higgins said.

He said many vendors had already started a long journey taking typically five years or more to reach this point, and no-one had yet ticked every box.

TechnologyOne Executive Chairman, Adrian Di Marco, said the software company had commissioned the research and report to investigate the current state of IT within local organisations and how ICT professionals saw the future of software.

He said their responses and Longhaus' analysis convinced him TechnologyOne was ‘dressed and ready to go' in terms of the new generation of business applications.

"TechnologyOne is in a good position to face the future because our solutions have always been built for service and business process-oriented organisations, meaning Business Intelligence tools can be used to their full ability rather than just being a clunky bolt-on to a manufacturing system," Mr Di Marco said.

"We have been on a journey for the last few years to migrate all our solutions onto our new generation Ci platform that combines internet technology and a rich user experience, meaning is it easy to deploy and use.

"TechnologyOne has also restructured to address the specific needs of vertical markets and is currently developing preconfigured solutions which present all users with tailored information to help them do their jobs better.

"We invest heavily in R&D and are already working to make sure our solutions address our customers' current and future needs."

Longhaus concluded that organisations which have delayed software upgrades could well be in a better position to take advantage of the emergence of a new breed of business user and application.

"We may well see that some of the headline grabbing upgrades of the last few years were done a little too early leaving these organisations adopting solutions that may already be obsolete," Mr Higgins said.

"The advent of trends like BYO IT, niche industry solutions and a huge shift in power from the back office to the front end user mean the landscape is going to change fundamentally in the next five years."