by: Sigurd Rinde

If you're in business you'll soon find the need for some business software...
When you forget to follow up potential clients that's when you find a need to "manage" your leads and call the CRM vendor.
When you need to know when and by whom to fill up your warehouse with bits, parts or whatever you invest in SCM and SRM. And so forth ad infinitum.

Now, imagine you're running a shipping company; your purpose is to deliver goods from Europe to the US, the economy is in shambles and you need to get better and earn more money.

There are two things you can do:
  1. Make your ships faster and more economical, and/or
  2. revisit your purpose, the core value delivered, and explore airfreight, logistics and more.
Now draw a parallel to your need for business software:
  1. Analyse the specific needs of existing processes and tasks and invest to make those faster and more economical, or
  2. revisit your purpose and explore different processes and tasks.
That would be theoretical. Airplane and truck makers exist so the shipper have the freedom to do what he wants, but the business software buyer will only be offered tools to make specific and existing processes more efficient. Not much software to enable easy change to his business are on offer. (Need proof? Read out loud the full names of CRM, SCM, HCM etc.. See? All process specific.)

This is when business get stuck and where software developers fail miserably.

Maybe the blame should be with the oft repeated advise to entrepreneurs to "find a need and offer a solution"? Do not offer him an alternative (an easy way to explore alternative processes) so he'll be stuck with simple needs to increase efficiency instead. And simple needs are easier to fix and to sell into. Bad laziness. Self fulfilling prophecy. 

The vendor wins short term and the buyer loses long term.

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