David M Smith

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

David Mitchell Smith
VP & Gartner Fellow
16 years at Gartner
30 years IT industry

David Mitchell Smith is a vice president and Gartner Fellow in Gartner Research, where he specializes in the impact of catalytic technologies such as the Internet, Web 2.0, cloud computing and consumer technologies. Read Full Bio

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Are enterprise SaaS vendors becoming more like their customers?

by David M. Smith  |  May 17, 2012  |  Comments Off

I’ve long thought of the effects of SaaS adoption as consumerization on steroids. It is an en masse instance of consumerization as business users increasingly go to the cloud to get what they need bypassing IT. And what about SaaS vendors? Are they starting to exhibit similar behavior as their customers? Many started as traditional enterprise software companies.

It looks like we are now starting to see enterprise software companies mimic behavior of the enterprises they sell to. Look at SAP’s acquisition of Success Factors and Oracle’s acquisitions of Taleo and RightNow. Both companies’ cloud strategies are incomprehensible. Who’s in charge? Are the “business units” or vertically focused groups (meaning the non-central engineering folks,) bypassing their central engineering organization because the latter aren’t responsive enough? Or because the central groups have too much baggage and aren’t leading a strategy that reflects market reality and is responsive to customers in the real world? (Sound like opinions of central IT in your shop?). Sounds a lot like how enterprise business units bypass IT for cloud/SaaS solutions.

So…. Who’s in charge in your organization? Who will be in charge of cloud strategies in enterprise software companies?

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