Not to call anyone stupid, but I am sure the majority of the SAP and Oracle users will join me in commented on their interface. Professor Nicholas Carr of "Does IT Matter?" fame? blogged about the state of the user interface on enterprise software systems.
Recall that my primary focus is to build an environment where the users are involved in every aspect of this systems design. I don't want to re-create the SAP methodology under a new name; I want to build useful systems. I have commented before how I am certain that SAP does not understand the pipeline, drilling, completion, equipping, gas cost allowance, royalty or capital markets involved in the oil and gas producer. I therefore expect nothing useful to come out of SAP, other then of course their claim to fame the bureaucracy.
Now Carr notes that Khoi Vinh of the New York Times wrote on his blog some interesting analysis as to why enterprise class application interfaces are so bad.
This is partly because enterprise software rarely gets critiqued the way even a US$30 piece of shareware will. It doesn’t benefit from the rigor of a wide and varied base of users, many of whom will freely offer merciless feedback, goading and demanding it to be better with each new release.and
Shielded away from the bright scrutiny of the consumer marketplace and beholden only to a relatively small coterie of information technology managers who are concerned primarily with stability, security and the continual justification of their jobs and staffs, enterprise software answers to few actual users. Given that hothouse environment, it’s only natural that the result is often very strange.To me the reason for the poor response of the user community towards SAP and Oracle is due to the fact that they have put the cart before the horse. Building the application and then expecting the users is as backwards as I can imagine. The user has to come first in both time committed and priority. I think the term is commonly referred to as "eating our own dog food".
Outside of the security specification, no code will be developed unless their is a user community demanding the solution be built based on their specification, design, analysis etc. Software has been built the wrong way too many times and it's too important to be left in the hands of a "small coterie of information technology managers".
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