Big name blogger, Robert Scoble, has again forayed into enterprise software territory. This time, it appears he's finally recognized that enterprise software is sexy.
During a previous enterprise-land journey, Robert baited the Enterprise Irregulars and created a blogging firestorm by claiming enterprise software is not sexy. He also complained that big companies foist enterprise systems on unsuspecting users:
Some CIO somewhere else made that decision and forced us all to use [insert your favorite enterprise software vendor here]. That doesn’t exactly make us warm and fuzzy about the computer sitting in front of us on the desk.
Fast forward, almost a year later, and Robert seems to be climbing on-board the enterprise train. In a recent post about enterprise email, he addresses fundamental business value issues:
I am looking for companies that solve REAL pain in enterprises and that deliver real benefits to bottom lines and productivity.
[H]ow to build scalable and performant Web services, especially given that tomorrow’s services are probably going to be glued together from a variety of services?
THE PROJECT FAILURES ANALYSIS
Robert's position on enterprise software has deepened since last year. At that time, he seemed to think software value could be defined by cool features and nice looks alone; Robert now recognizes that substantive ROI is the true measure of technology.
I asked Robert to explain his interest in enterprise issues:
My WorkFastTV show is focused on how work is changing thanks to the Internet and that’s getting me moderately more interested in Enterprise issues because that’s often where the greatest need is to dramatically increase productivity through using new collaborative approaches.
It's interesting to note three significant differences between consumer and enterprise software blogging:
Enterprise audiences are serious and influential. Our readers control big budgets inside the world's largest organizations; their voice and opinions matter.
The enterprise landscape is deep and complex. The topic can be challenging to analyze, because enterprise technical and business issues are so tightly interconnected.
Enterprise bloggers have lower page views. Although our readership is influential, it's smaller and more specialized than the audience for mainstream consumer software.
Why does Scoble's opinion of enterprise software matter? More than any other blogger, Robert's broad reach has become a bellwether of trends and opinion. Despite the critical role enterprise software plays in virtually every large organization, few people outside IT understand its true value and significance. By blogging enterprise software, Robert exposes these issues to a large and diverse audience, which is positive.
On the other hand, the extent of Robert's interest remains an open question. Although the enterprise audience oversees large projects and huge budgets, it's not a driver of high page views.
That said, I think Robert Scoble just might be ready to acknowledge that enterprise software is sexy after all.