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From software stacks to business apps: The changing face of enterprise software

It’s becoming a common talking point in boardrooms across the country – executives are asking: “How can we take advantage of the cloud and mobile to make our company more agile, and in the end, more successful”. In fact, it would take a rare breed of executive in 2016 to reinforce the use of on-premise and tradition legacy software to support their business’s growth plans.

We know this to be a typical conversation at the top, especially when looking at ways to drive the success of sales and service teams. Companies are turning away from the old approach of solving business problems by deploying large-scale software systems that require extensive customization and are realizing that improving how people work is actually what requires investment. As the role of CIO grows beyond the control center of IT spending and into all aspects of operations, the need to drive productivity becomes the starting point for IT spending and drives the bottom line performance of the organization.

As this shift occurs, it prompts a closer look at how software vendors have promoted their solutions. For some time now, the solutions were looked at as the “software stack.” Technopedia defines a software stack as “a group of programs that work in tandem to produce a result or achieve a common goal.” Software stack also refers to any set of applications that works in a specific and defined order toward a common goal, or any group of utilities or routine applications that work as a set.

Oracle – one of the world’s leading suppliers of software solutions – was among the first to market its software stack. I particularly love this quote from a 2010 whitepaper on the importance of what Oracle’s calls its “end-to-end stack” – “Oracle’s hardware and software products are designed and tested as an integrated, end-to-end stack in order to provide users with a complete, comprehensive solution, offering optimum functionality, top performance, and reduced complexity.”

The driving principle of the “software stack” was that successful deployments depended on using the same underlying software for all processes across the business – from finance and logistics, to sales and service. The idea being that by using the same core software capabilities across business needs, a company would get more integration and more functionality at a lower price point.

The major challenge that faced those who adopted the “stack approach” was that business was often held back by the way the stack was built – one couldn’t simply choose the best software available, but instead had to choose whatever fit best into the stack or, even worse, build something that plugged into the stack.

The impact of the cloud and mobile on enterprise completely changed this approach. Now, instead of attempting to fit business needs into a software stack from a large vendor, organizations have the freedom to adopt technologies to fit their exact use case and to implement that independent of other existing software.

And we can’t forget mobile’s vital role in this change, as business applications replace software stacks and mobile-first becomes a best practice for any business to have real impact in today’s tough economic environment.

Bigtincan has long been a leading player in the business app market with our Bigtincan Hub. We have learned that it’s all about the real world impact that we can have with customers on how they can support their selling and customer-facing teams to compete in a tougher and tougher economic environment that counts. And yes, Bigtincan Hub has been designed to connect to the “software stacks” of the past, but to do that without holding users back from the really exciting opportunities that a mobile-first approach with a cloud-based system can provide.

To learn more about Bigtincan Hub, click here:

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