What will be the next big thing? Not Service Oriented Architectures, Open Source, or Software as Service, argues Mike Nevins, former managing partner of McKinsey & Company's Global High Tech Practice at SandHill.com.
He contends "all three will miss the mark for one simple reason. They don't address the real constraints to growth for enterprise software...Those real constraints have some thing to do with software vendors and a lot to do with customers."
As Nevins sees it, "Enterprise customers complain that software vendors disappoint all too often. However, if you examine many of those failures they are self inflicted wounds. The customer fails to make the changes to their operations to get the benefit of the software. Or they fail to sufficiently understand the new data that is available so that they can act on it."
With this in mind, he concludes that the "next big thing" will, in fact, be software companies that combine software, content and services and take responsibility for outcomes.
One example Nevins cites is Zyme Solutions, which enables "semiconductor and software companies manage the flow of inventories thorough multi level distribution.They have a sophisticated software platform that collects and aggregates the data and crunches the numbers to support decisions. However they don't sell the software. What they sell is the data. They have built relationships with major distributors around the world to get have them flow their data into Zyme's platform. They have expert staff to edit and clean the data. They produce reports and databases for Zyme's customers and work with those customers to find ways to improve decision making and execution based on the data."
As he concludes, "This potent combination of content, software and services is a very different business model. Over time the most valuable asset of the business becomes what they know - hard data about inventories and trends and soft knowledge about how to use that data to good effect."