Over the past five years, software vendors have been moving their customer-premise offerings to cloud services. The cost of software license fees are added to costs for hardware, network, and security infrastructure. Millions of dollars are being invested in putting packaged software in the cloud so customers can expense rather than amortize their information technology purchases. Like the record industry, vendors create bundles (i.e. albums) in order to stack less-used features with their core features. Monthly subscription service rates are calculated like lease agreements, so accountants can depreciate these investments. The assumption is that economies of scale apply to technology.
These investments ignore the fact that technology is distributing workloads, not consolidating them. The Internet of Things is adding points of input. Arrays of commodity smartphone components continue to replace multi-million dollar engineered products from digital microscopes to satellites and cable TV. The Internet is still made up of mostly personal computer technology all wired together. Blade server technology uses a distributed design to imbue redundancy, and thereby reliability, into their products. Distributed computing is the only possible way to solve the most difficult problems. Unfortunately, software design has not kept pace.
The act of creating “packaged” or “common off-the-shelf” (aka “COTS”) software products requires accommodating the needs of a diverse set of users. This results in a small (20%) subset of features that remain useful for any particular group of users, while the majority of features (80%) remain unused. Custom software, by contrast, contains only those features that users deem useful.
The development and support of custom software requires knowledge of how business processes operate. Small enterprises that cannot afford a full-time programmer or have difficulty retaining staff due to volatile business cycles, need a software solution that applies common computing principals while remaining flexible in the data elements it can handle. Spending millions of dollars customizing an enterprise package is out of reach for most small enterprises. (Large enterprises just waste a lot of time pretending to use more features.)
Most small enterprises rely upon spreadsheets and word processors to digitize their paper document world. Vendors reply with file-based solutions to help them “organize” their digitized documents. Few vendors offer structured data solutions that enable searching, sorting, and sharing of the transactional details of documents. Companies that combine the ease of use of a spreadsheet with the accountability of a database using a common business process methodology can solve this problem. A common business process methodology enables Konduit.com to highly customize web-based applications for each client, while retaining a secure, cost-effective operational environment.
Scalability of the cloud is not achieved by moving bloated software to mainframe hardware. Cloud scalability is achieved by distributing only “needed” features and applying a common business process to a unique set of data items. This allows software and hardware to be shared while content remains specific and relevant.