Social software and SAP

Ajay Das from SDN posted a couple of days ago about Social computing and possible business models which has some great insight. He says :-

Given that technology has become more prevalent (let us stick with SAP for the time) and more easily available, and, also that is has become easier to create applications, and, that most organizations behave similarly (and so have same processes, similar KPIs, similar reporting, similar data warehousing req, and so on)…, it makes sense to have a IT development model different from what vendors in this space offer today.

Let us say, like Google for ‘search’ services, there is a google for SAP development services. Free and one click away.

Kind of a plug and play model where a business analyst can build you new services and other people would be making their components available for free as well. An interesting thought and I can almost see it happening.

On a slightly related note I feel more and more each day that we are moving towards a component based environment as has been described by John Macy for the lat 6 or 7 years. (John is another thought leader I am trying to convince to blog.)

7 thoughts on “Social software and SAP

  1. Yes, it’s coming, but it ain’t easy, and I find that the work involved in building out a proper services infrastructure is underplayed. Our organization uses “one-off” SOA in certain point-to-point situations, but we’re working hard to create an environment that will let us utilize services properly – an agnostic bus, strong security and a robust registry are just some of the enablers here. There will need to be a degree of scrutiny to make sure that services created for general consumption are ready for prime time and can support large loads. Only after that heavy lifting is done can we begin to cash in on the promise and build new ‘apps’ based on standardized, reliable components. Personally, I can’t wait. Are we there yet?

  2. No we are not there yet. You are right on the heavy lifting needing to be done. To make a service simple and easy to use you need to invest many times more on product development especially in the user interface area.

    I think we are starting to see some things moving towards this model. Jobster is an example that springs to mind.

    Like you I can’t wait.

  3. I think we are getting close to having a component based environment on a macro level. That is we can chose multiple systems and tie them all together in a standardized front plane (I’m going to run a series in January about how web services technology works).

    However, component based environments at a system level are incredibly far away. Sure we can modularize things and “bolt on” functionality, but true component environments should assume a standardization of coding that systematic mentions above. I simply don’t see this happening.

  4. At a macro level we can do this using existing APIs/data exchange formats. I kind of agree that at a micro level we will not see a component based environment for a long time. But we will have plug and play workflow engines, performance review tools etc.

  5. Yes and no. The problem with HR-XML is it is very complex and therefore costly to implement. There were many different news syndication standards in the late 90’s, the simple one (RSS) has survived. I see the same potential with HR-XML. However industry agreed standards are very important to facilitating data exchange and therefore the ability to plug and play componentes.

  6. I think the basic design would need to undergo a change for Softwares to be adaptable to Social computing. Current ERP Softwares only encourages a user access and has little to offer on collaborative exchange of information using Web 2.0 tools and technologies.

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