How Enterprise Applications Will Change in 2010

Back when I lived in Los Angeles I used to take one week at the end of the year to recover from the past and prepare for the new one.

I would drive into the dessert (Las Vegas) embracing all it had to offer (mostly CHP officers pulling me over).  I would stay in a clean and modest hotel (hotels in the strip where cheap and decent then), and spend a few days pondering (playing blackjack and craps) on the fate (I almost always lost) of the year to come. It allowed me to plan better (how long to eat mac & cheese and ramen dinners) and to set my goals (ask for a raise at work).

As I got older, more serious (married and with kids) the process changed slightly.  Alas, since I live in the dessert now (for lack of better publishable words to describe Reno), the process is similar but I spend more time thinking about next year (married, two kids = no money, small town = nothing to do — might as well think).

This past week was my think week for 2009, and I am using the takeaways to frame my research the next 12-18 months.

Four strategies are going to be critical for businesses to address starting in 2010; use this list to plan where to spend your hard-earned strategic budget dollars:

Business Functions. How much has the customer changed in the last two years and how much will it change in the next two? We are not talking about customers any more (at least not as before).  Then, why would you continue to use same business functions as two, five – even ten years ago?  You have to embrace a new model, and you need new business functions for that.

Communities. The most critical element in dealing with “customers” (yes, in quotation marks) in 2010.  As the roles of business functions shift, they are finding communities to be the precipitant (I refuse to say catalyst) for those changes.  You will have to re-learn what you are thinking about communities, and how to interact with them.  You will no longer build communities to control, you will participate in ad-hoc and impromptu communities.

Experience.  If you solely focus on delivering the best experiences during customer interactions (as you have done until now), you will miss out on the best savings and innovation.  Disney plans and executes flawless experiences from the moment you plan your vacation through the post-vacation memories.  Are you approaching experiences the same way? Or are you trying to do the “online experience” or the “brick-and-mortar experience”?  The disconnect is what’s causing you to fail.

Convergence. You will need to converge your Enterprise 2.0 (internal) and Social CRM (external) strategies (first), initiatives (second), and implementations (third).  This is THE sine-qua-non condition for your organization to succeed and become a Social Business.  If you cannot get your organization to collaborate internally and externally at the same time, you will be left behind by the competition — and that means in the next 6-12 months, not years.

The biggest problem organizations are going to face is not going to be strategy.  That is easy (well, not so complicated) to tackle.  The biggest problem is the technical architecture underlying these changes.  There is really only one technology focus area for organizations going forward:

The Cloud. I promise not to say private cloud anymore.  In reality the cloud is not even started yet (although clues are beginning to pop up here and there).  I am planning a series of posts through the year to explore the issues and items you must consider from the business side as you dive deeper into this vaporware (not metaphorically speaking anymore – yeah, bad joke).  If you have any doubts that the cloud will change your business in the next five to ten years, you won’t by the time we are done dissecting it.

I did say before that analytics was a critical component of 2010 – and I still believe it.  I am trying to fit it within the bigger picture and will bring it out as needed (my wild card for 2010).

This wraps up 2009 blogging.  I want to write a short sentence to say thanks for your support and commentary.


10 Replies to “How Enterprise Applications Will Change in 2010”

  1. Good post Esteban,

    I agree but for the fact that I think Convergence, as you name it, is probably the biggest challenge, specifically in those companies that are still all about value exchange, inside-out process management and efficiency over effectiveness oriented.. And let’s face it: most still are..

    Without a clear understanding of this any technology set-up will fail to provide the ROI (even in a broader than financial perspective) because it will fail to be adopted.

    Clouds are very important to get out the maximum, but I would suggest to focus efforts first on tackling your first 4 items on the list.

    Looking forward to the next decade of discussions & good reads from your hand! Thx for a great 2009.

    .-= Wim Rampen´s last blog ..Counting down… =-.


    1. Wim,

      Thanks for commenting. Lots of good stuff in what you say…

      Here is the deal, while I believe most companies are in the stage you mention – the vision must be sufficiently generous to allow them to strive for it. If I would have said, understand that your current systems don’t work then nothing would ever happen. I believe, from experience, that you have to put the carrot 5-10 years ahead of where they are and help them move towards it. The work i will do in research in the next 2-3 months is going to be in “painting” that picture, in engineering that carrot so they can see that it makes sense.

      Will they all get there at the same time? not a chance, but if I can find a handful that agree with what I am saying and want to move in that direction then I’d be satisfied as to what I did. It worked before for the Customer Interaction Hub and for EFM when I did it, and in spite of being a small number of people – the main concepts did seep into other implementations that even they were not called CIH or EFM, they embraced the main idea. And, to me, embracing of the model is what I call success from my perspective.

      The Cloud? until we agree in what a cloud is (probably 2-3 years out), and how it can be used and benefit us (even longer), talking about it is all we can do — and it will become the largest experiment in powerpoint-ware we ever created until then. I don’t expect to see more than talk for 2010 and probably 2011 on this — unless there is a vendor (other than SFDC) that gets it and wants to get into really (there is a rumor of Amazon spinning AWS off which would probably make a significant impact to advance the concept). Alas, I am not holding my breath on that one — but want to see if we can advance the conversation on what it is and how to use it… that would be success to me.

      As for 2009 — thanks for being a big supporter of my work and what I did. I really appreciate it and am looking forward to more sharp commentary that helps me elevate my game.



  2. Pingback: Twitted by ekolsky
  3. What are *”customers” (yes, in quotation marks)*?

    What do you mean when you write, “We are not talking about customers any more (at least not as before)”? Seems to me that “customers,” in the traditional (as-before) sense of people and organizations who buy products and services, is exactly what “we” are still talking about. Please explain.

    Converging Enterprise 2.0 and Social CRM is “sine qua non” for an organization to succeed and become a Social Business? What is a “Social Business,” and you’re saying organizations will not succeed if they don’t do this in the next 6-12 months? Could we get a report card on this prediction a year from now?


    1. I did not forget about you… just been thinking about the best way to reply.

      Yes, your comment did strike something deep.

      1) customers are shifting, becoming social customers. Paul Greenberg wrote about it in several places, as have so many others including myself, and talked about it for some time. My contention, which I wrote about before in this blog, is that single customers are now becoming more and more part of communities, and that the business functions will morph into community-oriented business functions. Thus, what you call customers today will be very different in a very few short years (I see 2010 as the platform, the launchpad if you may). Marketing, Sales, and Services will become functions that depend on communities – not individuals – to operate. Ironically, a sentence that got cut out in editing what one that explained that statement further — it said “think community relationship management, not customer relationship management”

      does that explain that part.

      2)I don’t expect companies to be fully converged in 2010, but to initiate the road towards it (as you can probably imagine it will take more than 12 months to accomplish). It is true that convergence, in coordination with the concept of the social customer model, will signify success in the future. Not sure of the timing, but it is an imperative. If you adopt the idea that customers are shifting, then convergence is your goal. Siebel talked about this before, when they did their ERM (employee relationship management), as did PeopleSoft and myself in research I wrote in 2000-2002 for Gartner. This is not new, and certainly won’t go away, but it gains strength and importance as we shift the model for the customer.

      As usual, I will be the first one to concede to errors in predictions I made in the past. You will very likely get a report card. BTW, the reason I did not do one for 2008 at the end of 2009 is that my only prediction for 2009 was that it was going to be the year of social. Felt stupid doing a report card on that since there was not enough definition in my previous post to warrant a follow up.

      Alas, you will be glad to know that back in 1993 I declared the internet a non-issue, a fad that would dissappear in not even 2 years. In my defense, I was not an analyst but a sys-admin at the time. 🙂


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: