blog Fascinating post here on TechCrunch by Aaron Levie, founder and chief executive of Box.net, which is a bit like an enterprise-focused version of file sharing company Dropbox. If you work in enterprise IT and buy stuff, go away and read it. You won't be wasting your time.
There's a lot of things I like about Levie's thinking, because it broadly sums up much of the change beginning to raise its head within enterprise IT purchasing circles in Australia at the moment. It's as if the 'agile' paradigm of software development is also taking over the way chief information officers and IT managers think about the way they buy goods and services for their businesses.
A couple of thoughts here in particular struck me. Firstly, writes Levie:
'Enterprise software vendors have long enjoyed a counterintuitive, but highly lucrative, reward system. Its buyers are different from the ultimate users, and each group's needs are radically different '” traditionally, enterprise technology has been designed with the sale to the CIO in mind, and this produces solutions that are inevitably feature-bloated to 'satisfy' the vast majority of a customer's requirements.'
We see this kind of thing in Australia constantly. A big hallmark of government purchasing is the generation of extremely complex request for tender or proposal processes, the publication of which results in vendors trying spend months and months putting together responses that attempt to tick every tiny box listing a requirement which the government needs.