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The Network Effect on Business Software

Posted on 18 October 2016 by Louise Thompson

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?


Topics: Technology (or Enterprise Technology), Owning or (Running) ERP

Louise Thompson

Louise joined SYSPRO in 1985 and has been closely involved in the company’s product development as well as providing services to the six global SYSPRO offices. Her role in SYSPRO forms the link between development and the global marketplace with her goal to empower the SYSPRO offices, resellers and customers through the provision of the right service and support. Louise and her team are responsible for providing product support, training material, SYSPRO certification, and knowledge transfer to customers, either directly or through the SYSPRO offices and resellers.

Given the extensive nature of an ERP system Louise is of the strong belief that the support and services provided by SYSPRO must simplify the customer experience.


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