Enterprise systems’ accelerating obsolescence

Ken Stevens, VP Healthcare at Intelliware Development Inc.

Moore’s Law doesn’t just apply to hardware. It applies to application architecture as well. In my line of work, I see a wide variety of enterprise software systems. And one thing I have really come to appreciate is that due to the exponential improvement of technology tools, having a 5 year old system now is more than twice as outdated as if you had a 5 year old system back in 2010.

The pace of software architecture improvement is accelerating so fast, that the longer you wait to modernize, the exponentially farther your systems will fall behind. I have seen this realization paralyse IT departments: Why upgrade now, when if we wait a year, our upgrade will be twice as effective…

It’s a fascinating phenomena to witness in the field–you see pikemen and archers alongside tanks and drones.

Widespread adoption of Open Source tools is the primary fuel behind this explosion.  We build this year’s tools using last year’s tools in a fury of technological innovation that leaves even the most well-read architect feeling left behind.

It is a dangerous irony that one of the top licensing revenue earners of last century’s enterprise systems also owns the platform upon which the largest portion of new Open Source tools is being built.  We saw the first rumblings of this volcano with last week’s Android lawsuit.  As proprietary license revenues continue to plummet, expect this fight to only get uglier.

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