Don Marti

Fri 20 May 2005 05:37:45 AM PDT

MLP: enterprise software's troubles

Richard Stallman once said, "All businesses based on non-free software ought to fail, and the sooner the better."

"The quality of software I'm getting from you people is abysmal," David Watson, Kaiser's chief technology officer, told an audience of several hundred software industry executives.

John Leggate, CIO and group VP of digital and communications technology for British Petroleum, said just $30 million of his company's $2 billion IT budget goes to new software licenses, and $90 million to renewals of existing licenses.

Siebel's license revenue is down 40% year to year, Andy Singleton writes at IT Manager's Journal.

Finally, Kragen Sitaker on "enterprise software", which

is surrounded by consultants who will sell you the service of making it work, as explained above. In some cases, these ecosystems of consultants are competent and highly skilled. In other cases, such as the case of Java, many of them are spectacularly incompetent, vociferous in their ignorance, and prone to attack competing systems. This proceeds directly from the sales process for “enterprise software,” in which highly-paid persuaders gull technically incompetent managers into adopting the software. If the managers were technically incompetent in selecting the software in the first place, they will also not be able to distinguish between competent consultants and incompetent consultants, so incompetent consultants will flourish along with the competent ones — who will eventually get sick of it and go elsewhere.