Five Forces that Can
Make Your Business Sink or Swim"> "The big vendors are living on software license revenue and annual maintenance fees," Austin said. "Theyre scared to death of this." Austin added that by 2012, the markets for workplace SAAS will be growing faster than 30 percent a year, with many segments exceeding 100 percent annual growth. To that end, Google is forging a path as a "global class," company scaling up to millions of users by building big server farms and piping applications to users PCs as a departure from Microsoft, IBM and others.Consumerization, meanwhile, is creating an "IT civil war" between smaller companies focused on innovation and vendors focused on traditional control and management, said Smith. This theme makes people the center of focus, not devices, enterprise or software. But consumerization is also daunting because it blurs that line between work time and "your time," with people expected to be on call even on weekends to complete work tasks. Finally, Gartner analyst Gene Phifer said open source software is the glue potentially tying all of the disruptive forces together, noting that open source software is used in some companies that dont even realize it. Moreover, Phifer likened open source to free beer at college. But for those who drink both the beer and the open source, there are upsides and downsides. Low-cost, no-cost is a big benefit, as is not getting locked into a single vendor. But the bad news is that multiple distributions can lead to administration complexity; vague support contracts leave the burden of updates and compatibility; and shared/diluted resources where "borrowed" administrators can hurt other systems uptime. Gartner has advice for users looking at these emerging technologies. The main point is to keep an open mind to new technologies so your business doesnt get left behind by its competition. To read more about challenges in open source, click here. "For vendors who cant adapt, this could doom their business because its primarily about changes in business models that companies cant transition through," said Austin. "But for you as users, if you see this coming and understand it, youre not so constrained by the same kind of business models, so what could be a disruptive continuity that could sink major vendors could just be a wonderful incremental opportunity for you to move forward," Austin added. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.
Read more here about Salesforce.coms new SAAS apps.