The Network Effect on Business Software

The Network Effect on Business Software

Author: | Published: 18 Oct 2016

louise_network_effect.jpgI often hear parents complaining about the difficulties of raising a teenager. I have one, so I’m not going to say it’s always easy, but there are times that they have something really valuable to teach us. Take technology for instance. A teenager’s ability to accept and embrace technology never ceases to amaze me. The lack of resistance means that they are able to experience and enjoy new technology without skepticism or lag. 

This brings me to the point of this blog: The Network Effect. The network effect happens when something grows in value through more people (probably starting with a bunch of teenagers!) using it. Take the Internet for example, or the many social media and social networking platforms that live there.

The software industry is impacted equally by this phenomenon. The more people, devices and “things” that connect online, the greater the demand for software to create services.

Historically, ERP software hasn’t been greatly impacted by the network effect, but through new technological factors, like Business Intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing, and personal experiences this is changing fast.

Software greatly increases the usability of devices, making them irresistible and even essential for most modern day humans. This has a ripple effect: as usability increases, so does the ongoing creation of new devices and things.

Software companies should be planning for a massive increase in demand, similar to the industrial revolution’s impact on steel works, railways and other ancillary industries to manufacturing.

The industry is undergoing a massive revolution, one that is comparable to the shift from mainframe to PC back in the ‘80s. Mobile connectivity, accessibility from anywhere and the data explosion from Big Data and IoT, is creating a completely different computing paradigm to the one we are used to.

With growing trends like SaaS, the shift from product mindset to service mindset has meant that most software product design methodologies no longer provide the benefit that they used to. We have moved away from the era of software that works, to software that people use and prefer.

That’s all the reason one would ever need to make user experience (UX) a priority. At SYSPRO, UX is at front of mind when we design our products. An increased level of user enabled customization throughout allows you to personalize the interface to what you would like to use, and have it function in a way which is meaningful to your business.

This has a knock-on effect; new employees are able to learn the system quicker and more easily, becoming more productive, faster. It allows your business system to morph into what your people prefer and want to use.

Is your business as ready for the revolution as your teenage children are?

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Comments (2)

  • Harlyn Porter Reply

    Very apt and well written post. Recently I joined a company that had SYSPRO for a number of years before I joined the company. Prior to my joining, we used 20% of the system, with zero customization. Over the last two years we have been tweaking SYSPRO, using the customization and programming tools available to us, to improve the availability of the information. Each of the areas where we implemented something different, or where the users have said “That’s Cool” have had a huge effect on the adoption of the systems. These areas are now being turned to as the Go-To area for information within the company, and causing other users to start asking for more features and customization within there areas. The whole result is now SYSPRO is becoming the central hub for information within our company, which expands the information available, which then drives more people to go to the system.

    October 24, 2016 at 11:39 am
  • Louise Thompson Reply

    Thanks Harlyn – I love your comment and the way in which your organisation has embraced the “toolset” within SYSPRO to make it your hub of information.

    October 24, 2016 at 1:19 pm

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