Saturday, February 21, 2009

"Corporate drones" - some thoughts on "standard applications" and innovation...

Why the photo? Well, this post is about the aftermath of thoughts percolating since IO2009, and the result of conversations with various people...

I've heard quite a bit of talk, (in different contexts), about "standard applications". Standard applications are a good thing generally, and definitely make life easier for people who have to deal with IT.

I hope that when people talk about "standard applications", they not going to wait for vendors to innovate and supply a "solution" - I can think of times when in-house development, or open-source solutions can be useful, at least in the short-term:
  • proving worth/value of a "solution" (e.g. where there's risk that it might fall flat, or conversely, be really popular)
  • no vendor supplied product is ready (often people will develop stuff to suit their own needs, and then be nice enough to share it)
  • there's a "niche" which provides little incentive for a vendor to develop/sell a solution.
  • a vendor supplied product exists, but needs tweaking or customisation... I'm thinking here particularly of Umlaut which is used in conjunction with SFX - which is nice enough to be a relatively "open" system (from what I can tell).
So instead of "corporate drones" who might only think in terms of outsourcing and vendor-supplied products, I'd like to see more "cooperate beings" who try on some level, to:
  • consider the availability of a commercial solution (will there ever be one?)
  • develop and use solutions from other providers
  • put their stuff out there (in-house development might be risky -perhaps this diffuses some of that risk??)
Hmmm... is this a rant, or do I have a point? I'd appreciate your comments!

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