The Doctrine of Slow and Old: Big Business and New Applications


Stephen Bryant posts 5 reasons why Web 2.0 and big business don’t mix. I think he’s right and I think his post is a must-read for any Web 2.0 developer who is aiming for the corporate market.

One of my themes, of course, is that big business doesn’t care about Web 2.0.

Let’s take a closer look at one of Stephen’s reasons.

Enterprise software needs to be personalized for each company, and enterprises have also invested heavily in legacy software.

This may be the truest thing I’ve read yet on this issue. You could found a religion based on that statement. Most big companies are using old versions of old software, with a bunch of customized stuff (or stuff they think is customized) layered on top.

All this extra stuff makes it a royal pain to push new operation systems and new versions of applications. The party line is that some of the allegedly custom stuff (much of which is bloatware, but they don’t know it) won’t work with a new operating system or a new version of an application. The real reason is that (a) it’s hard to push new stuff out to thousands of computers and (b) corporate risk aversion. Regardless, the effect is that big companies fall way behind the new application curve.

And of course some new applications don’t play well with older operating systems, so you get caught in a cycle of obsolescence.

Which results in slow and old computers running slow and old applications.

Which means that big business is a long way from caring about the lastest and greatest Web 2.0 application.