I made a comment on one of my favorite blogs today where I described a way of writing software as “enterprisey” … I’m not sure what the real word is to describe it, but I assume you know what I mean. Some software feels intended for consumers or small businesses and some feels intended for big businesses – you know, it’s enterprisey.
More and more, this is an arbitrary distinction. As the “consumerization of IT” continues, a great deal of software that was in fact originally intended for consumers or small businesses is finding a place in bigger and bigger companies – GMail and Google Docs comes to mind. On the other hand, as more and more enterprise software that was traditionally sold on-premise comes out with SaaS offerings, software that was once available only to big companies is now available to very small businesses and individuals. That brings to mind Office 365 with Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync ($6/month!). There are countless other examples of both approaches.
As companies move from consumer to enterprise or enterprise to consumer, there are all sorts of subtle challenges. I suspect that those subtle challenges will be obscure memories within just a couple of years. More and more, people just expect their software to work.
Isn’t competition wonderful?