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Friday, 20 March 2009 03:15

Software Cringe is Alive and Well

By
A few years ago, Australian software companies were bemoaning the fact that they could sell anywhere in the world, except Australia.  Seems nothing has changed.

There have been plenty of reports that were critical of the attitude of Australian organisations, particularly governments, to purchasing Australian-made software.  Particularly Australian ERP software.  It seems that there is a knee-jerk reaction to reject Australian software as it obviously can’t be any good.  Unfortunately, the only people expressing these opinions are in Australia – the rest of the world is clamouring to buy the products.

That those very-same governments are quick to trumpet the successes of such organisations is ever-so-much more galling.

At a recent gathering of IT Journalists on the Gold Coast, David Jackman (Managing Director of Pronto Software – a mid-tier developer of Enterprise Software Solutions) took time to comment on a similar cause for concern.

When asked by ITWire whether the company suffers from "cultural cringe," Jackman was quick to agree that it was still a strong impediment to sales in Australia, here paraphrasing conversations he’s had with potential customers: "they’d say 'Yes, we believe your product is actually a fantastic product and we believe you can do it on-time and on-budget but we’re going to buy the other product because it looks better on my resume.' " 

Jackman goes on to add: "If you look at the life of a CIO, quite often they move too quickly.  CIOs have got to be more loyal to their employer rather than their career and actually be a contender to be the CEO of their company.  That means they’ve got to see the business as a life-long business, rather than the technology so they can move up the food-chain.  That is a challenge to us, the CIO ... on their personal agenda sometimes can be a pain to get past."

In other words, in his experience, Jackman says he is fighting against the CIO (and the CIO’s resume) to try to get past better-known but potentially inferior products.


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David Heath

David Heath has had a long and varied career in the IT industry having worked as a Pre-sales Network Engineer (remember Novell NetWare?), General Manager of IT&T for the TV Shopping Network, as a Technical manager in the Biometrics industry, and as a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer in the industrial control sector. In all aspects, security has been a driving focus. Throughout his career, David has sought to inform and educate people and has done that through his writings and in more formal educational environments.

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