The Future of Business Software: Scale

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As we’ve explored the Citizen Developer Success Model and how it will affect the future of business software, we’ve covered a lot of ground. We’ve talked about the importance of speed, versatility and specialization, mobile, zero code and the connected platform. The next thing I want to talk about is scale.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “Do we have to talk about scale?” Scale isn’t exactly the sexiest thing to read about – or write about for that matter. It’s used so often by companies and industry experts anymore that it’s easily overlooked as just another industry buzzword. But make no mistake, scale is the cornerstone of the Citizen Developer Success Model and the future of modern business software.

Of course, you can’t talk about scale without talking about the cloud. Cloud computing’s inherent benefit is its unique ability to scale infinitely and on demand. Whether hosted publicly or privately, the business software of the future will primarily be delivered via the cloud as software-as-a-service (SaaS) or even Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). That’s a bold statement, but I really see no other logical path given the enormous advantages over traditional desktop or server-based solutions.

Business software should grow with the business

When you break it all down, there are two main reasons why scale matters with business software: money and power. First, scale has a huge impact on the economics of business software. By centralizing technology and resources together, vendors can deliver their solutions much more efficiently and affordably to end users. As a result, software technology that was once too costly for businesses, is now accessible for small to medium organizations.

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Better economics also impacts large enterprises. Business software that was once only purchased by a central IT department is now well within the purchasing power and reach of mid-level department managers. And more departments are setting aside budget to purchase their own software, versus tapping the central IT budget. So if I run the sales organization, why bother asking IT for a CRM solution when I can just buy and deploy Salesforce with a post-sales workflow solution like TrackVia to run my entire department using my American Express corporate card? No budget hurdles. No committee reviews. No procurement politics or corporate red tape. Just try, buy, integrate and deploy. I can solve my business or technology challenge this week, not next month or next quarter.

Scale also changes the game from a power and capacity standpoint. Business software of the future will be infinitely scalable, capable of handling virtually any amount of data or users. What once took weeks or months to compute, can now be done in days, hours and sometimes in just a few minutes with software that can instantly scale its capacity and computing power.

This software scale and power will also be on demand. In other words, as your power demands change, your software will be able to quickly scale up — or down for that matter. No matter what you throw at it, your software will instantly scale on the back end. All of this is done instantly and completely transparent to users. For example, you may need to crunch data at the end of a quarter. The software of the future will be able to instantly scale, allowing you to add more “big data” type processing power or the ability to add more users when needed. All of this will be done on demand in minutes with a few simple mouse clicks.

If you think about it, scale democratizes business software. Scale provides software access to more businesses by lowering costs, while also offering users more freedom to “right size” their software capacity and power depending on their immediate need.

The future of business software is very different — but it’s also very bright.

Keep tweeting us at @trackvia — how has the ability to scale your software tools given your business an edge?