What is Y2.02K?* Don’t bother hiring Mckinsey, it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure it out. All you have to do is poke around your company to identify the one thing that people absolutely HATE about their job. The thing that causes grey hair and un-necessary conflict: You’ve got enterprise software that sucks. Maybe it’s an old system, maybe it’s a legacy system inherited from an acquisition, maybe it was one
“sold” to you that never came close to expectations. Whatever the cause, these clunkers are doing really important things…just doing them badly.
First Things First: Its’ Not Your Fault.
These enterprise software systems, when built, were “state of the art” at the time. Have you ever even heard of an AS/400 mainframe crashing? Never! That was the state of enterprise software art at the time. Doesn’t make it any friendlier, but in a way it wasn’t designed to be friendly. Other systems may have “all the right buttons and functionality” but the underlying architecture is a dog’s breakfast. In the data-centric competitive economy, this is the root of really exorbitant maintenance costs and more and more grey hair.
We also can’t discount that our perceptions of software have really changed. Apple, Google and others drive the “iPhoneification” and gorgeous user design really highlight the value of great user design. Against this backdrop, old software just looks and feels horrible.
And Then This Happened.
Data! Data analysis! Predictive Data Analytics! Listen, I’m not going to mince words here. The data gauntlet is far, far out of the gate. Managers and the C level are demanding analytics and they want it yesterday. But to do this we have to grapple with our old crappy enterprise software systems. These old software systems hide data behind a labyrinth of spaghetti architecture.
When we first built K3 one of our key fundamentals is that it has to be the WD-40 for data. Part of this is a simple grappling hook into older enterprise software systems (K3 adapter library) and the other half is seamless user driven transformation. What do I mean by that? It’s getting hooks into systems and then enabling users to sort, blend, harmonize the data so you can make sense of it and do new and cool things with it. Call it a ring-fence, call it closing a digital divide, but in the end it’s all about closing the holes on monolith software.
Y2.02K is the User Revolt, and It’s Already Underway
Technology people with eyes wide open have been reading their news feed for the last few years with their mouths agape. Why? The new technology rolling out is staggering in simplicity and absolutely amazing. The “first majority” of large companies are just now putting this technology to work and decoupling key aspects out of their monoliths. The fact is these technological leaps and bounds coupled with the absolute fed-up disposition of users makes old monolith systems a lost cause. At a minimum it will drive a powerful replacement cycle in favor of applications with newer technology. At a minimum users are already reducing the footprint of monoliths in favor of external technology.
By 2020 the monolith is only for absolute laggards. Most large enterprises will have gone far far beyond this. But the next 5 years are the most exciting the software business has ever seen. Fasten your seat belts.
*In case you didn’t get it. Y2.02K is Year 2020.