Inforbix and PDM simplicity

Today’s post is not about Inforbix technology or product… for as someone once quipped: technology is easy people are hard.  Rather, today I want to talk about how I think people perceive new products and new ways of working.

Here’s what Steve Jobs had to say with regards to new products:

You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.

And what Henry Ford observed with regards to new ways of doing things:

If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse.

These two quotes capture what I believe is the ‘traditional’ situation with software in manufacturing companies.  People come to work and either accept or tolerate the products that IT (or someone “up high”) determined were necessary.  Maybe it’s a little different for engineers and their workstations… IT usually consider those a “black box”.  However, at the corporate or enterprise level, choosing solutions from IBM, SAP, Oracle (regardless of fit for users) were straight forward decisions… many an IT career was made and secured with products from these vendors.

However, I’ve noticed some changes in the last few years.  People began to use and adopt new consumer technologies at work.  Turns out, our home computers, mobile and personal devices have become more powerful (and useful) than what’s available at work.  And no doubt, the Internet has accelerated this trend and has served as the agent of change: people now expect (and demand) the application of consumer technology at work.  They want to collaborate and interact with others using the power of social media, have the ability to work anywhere using their mobile devices, and very importantly, don’t want to be told by someone in IT what they are to use.  That’s a choice they want to make for themselves… the focus is on results, not the means of achieving it.

At Inforbix, we believe in simplification.  Moreover, software needs to become smarter so people don’t need to think about it… they just use it.  There’s a sea change coming in the software industry driven by consumerization and the recognition data is at the core of innovation and good decision making.  People want simple and smart software solutions that helps them get a particular task done.  That means accessing data in helpful and meaningful ways.

What do you think?  Let me know… I’d like to continue ruminating on this topic in future posts and includes some of your thoughts.

Best, Oleg

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