Empowering the Enterprise End User

This is probably not an entirely new topic, but I've been thinking about it for the past couple years. It's on the subject of choice in the enterprise IT department. I was tempted to call this post "The Rise of the Stupid Enterprise" but I figured that might be mis-construed. David Isen had it right as it related to the decentralization of communications networks. I believe that a version of this decentralization will happen to the CIO's office.

The software industry is emerging from a painful depression and entering an era where software as a service is without a doubt one of the most important innovations we've seen in a long time. That movement away from expensive client-server solutions & wide-scale enterprise site licenses to user-specific hosted solutions by third parties is rapidly changing the way enterprises buy software. It's enabling & empowering the end-users to identify, select, and adopt more quickly and, most importantly, act without having to rely on the IT or MIS department. What's this? Decentralization.

Wherever standards have been established, this trend is likely to take continue. We've seen it start with CRM, but I think that other enterprise apps are only inches behind. Tools such as VoIP and Mail/IM clients, ERP and SCM interfaces, and even business productivity suites, could become more influenced by end users, rather than mandated by IT / MIS. Movements such as SOA will only further distribute choice down from corporate to the business line to the end user. Bring it on! The enterprise software industry is entering the Age of Decentralization - let's keep empowering the end user.
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