{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "What are some common pitfalls of adopting non-enterprise software? (Beyond standard security/scalability/reliability/etc.) Client seems intent on going for a solution that may backfire in the long run and cannot seem to get the message across.", "post_id": "5f200f235b00f50028ba9128", "reply_count": 13, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "598b9cc71d02550016d5c8e7", "bowl_name": "Technology/IT Consultants" }

What are some common pitfalls of adopting non-enterprise software? (Beyond standard security/scalability/reliability/etc.) Client seems intent on going for a solution that may backfire in the long run and cannot seem to get the message across.

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Ummm very little? The “stability” of enterprise software and vendors is a joke. Everything is still professional services to implement and maintain long term anyways. If they are the biggest customer of the small shop, they can hold them over a barrel in product upgrades and roadmap. And a cheap license means it’s less costly to swap out in the future. If it’s a solid product, the fact that it’s not “enterprisey” is a good thing. Paying 1000X the cost for licenses is the stupidest trend in large businesses and a large part of why startups continue to disrupt.

likehelpful

It is always interesting to hear what other people say. I can see the point, especially if it is a smaller client or the process in question is a differentiator for the client. I am so used to Fortune 500, it throws me when I deal with small clients. I had one last year that had an IT department of 5 people. Not 500, five. I had to scale down all of my recommendations to make them workable for the client.

likehelpful

You’re asking the right question as a consultant advising your client. My experience is that smaller niche software can often be functionally superior to more established CRM/ERP platforms mostly because the newco SW specializes in one or two functions and does them really well. However there are implications of doing so such as the following: skills availability, integration, support costs, data governance, and procurement rules/processes. Organizations that lack skills in integration and platform management often find themselves mired in delays and outages when trying to make a “best-of-breed” software package integration strategy work. I’d also add that many make the mistake of thinking that they can customize smaller software packages more easily, creating future tech debt.

helpfullike

Literally all those concerns apply to “enterprise” packages though as well.

smart

You mean custom versus a package solution?

likesmart

I had a fortune 100 company that was running their supply chain on a vendor so small it was basically one guy with two subcontractors. My client was 70% of their revenue. And the software ended up being a pain point. It is OK to choose a specialized small product for a key process that differentiates a client from their competitors. But most core processes in ERP, SCM, CRM aren’t differentiators. Stick with what the big software players provide.

likesmarthelpful

I think the biggest issue is typically the lack of support and these days security. I’ve known a lot of clients that were stuck with specific employees or vendors because of custom software. If your client goes the custom software route be sure to recommend a third party risk assessment. Review their SSDLC, any hosting they provide, and in general that company’s cyber posture if possible. Also make sure that their code base is something that’s modern and an industry standard etc.

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The differentiator I've noticed between big and small vendors is typically the number of readily available integrations. The more boutique ones may not have as many, but they have that "one" a client "needs".

helpful

Thanks everyone!

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