Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Simplicity of Computing

Adam Bosworth recently posted an article that is required reading for all technologists and product managers. He argues that we have made software more complex than necessary in the B2B Entrprise world and there is a great need to simplify in order to effectively adopt these into mainstream technologies.

Case in point: consumer oriented technologies have overtaken enterprise technologies in terms of adoption, collaboration and data sharing. Why is it easier to have an RSS feed that can be subscribed and read by hundreds of users immediately, whereas trying to attempt the same via a commercial Integration Broker is a pain in the wrong place ? Not that this is not possible, but setting up the perfect configuration with the layers and layers of abstraction to get a simple message to go between two systems is incredibly difficult in my personal experience.

Bosworth argues that the technologies that have survived are simple, flexible and imperfect - they have allowed for immediate easier adoption and hence evolution. If people are interested in a technology, they will improve it. Trying to come up with the most perfect technical solution the first time around will probably ensure an immediate demise due to lack of adoption.

Quote: "On the one hand we have Blogs and Photo Albums and Event Schedules and Favorites and Ratings and News Feeds. On the other we have CRM and ERP and BPO and all sorts of enterprise oriented 3 letter acronyms."

The reality of this statement is that computing for enterprise users should be no different that for consumers for easier adoption. Yes - the requirements of running a business is arguably more complex, but if the future of computing is going to be based on reputation (as proven by eBay and Blogs) we need to take a serious look at this from a CRM perspective ASAP.