Enterprise Apps vs. Enterprise Platforms – Which will win ?

Rocky 4 face off

The IT world is a dichotomy.

On one hand we have our peers and educators telling us that to learn to code creates a foundation for entry into the world of the software business and yet in our own enterprise domain we yearn for the ability to create without code. Take a look at the startup scene and once again we find examples of lean and agile apps which allows a user to quickly imagine and prototype what the experience and process will look like.

No code prototyping

AppGyver is one such example, it’s a mobile app prototyper, aimed at those who need to rapidly iterate on designs during the mobile app-dev process. While is doesn’t mean that the prototype is anywhere near a finished product the fact you can build the look and feel in minutes is a standout feature.

I look at the enterprise platform industry and it’s as far removed from the above example as possible. I’ve seen plenty of marketing from vendors about their ‘no coding’ approach to building process based applications but it always falls way short of the promise. When an organisation invests in a platform it expects to be able to rapidly prototype and show its business users just what it will look and feel like without the need for significant investment in technical upskilling of its business workforce.

But the problem is two-fold;

  • the platforms themselves are not as agile as they make out. They require analysis, requirements gathering, technical input, data, connectors, training, in order to make something look remotely feasible and workable.
  • the methods we apply in business transformation are too deeply rooted in the past to allow lean startup approaches. You only have to look at PMP and Prince2 to recognise there’s nothing in there that means agile. Even SCRUM doesn’t lend itself to prototyping this way, in reality  it still takes days/ weeks not minutes/ hours.

The IT world is indeed a dichotomy.

Modern enterprises are looking to move swiftly toward a leaner, app-centric approach. One which allows the business user more input into design, process and implementation without the need for technical expertise in the earlier stages. But enterprise platform vendors are a long way off in understanding this trend and still deliver solutions which are the exact opposite.

And in this case, opposites no longer attract and those platforms will be pushed out in favour of the app.

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One response to “Enterprise Apps vs. Enterprise Platforms – Which will win ?

  1. Hi Theo
    Yes interesting point one which we have suffered from! BUT what you say assumes the existing complexity to build any application. If that is removed then the “discovery” as you describe becomes the important bit engaging people with build direct and exactly as required with no coders or BPMN! Then you have in buit flexibility to change again with users input. I certainly see that prebuilt Apps maybe as “modules” will help but the real benfit is the ease and speed of change in build or future change which will be inevitable where people work.
    I agree at the moment you may be right BUT that could and I think will change as I have described. The World just needs to know this “holy grail” of software as descibed by many actually exists and works!

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