3 min read
Enterprise adopts Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) products to digitize their operations. Some enterprises settle for one single ERP product which may cover most of their operational needs. Others may opt for multiple products that claim superiority for a specific function and integrate them using the integration method. The first is a single solution approach through a single vendor and in the second, it is a multi-solution approach using multi-vendors or using one system integrator to integrate and maintain them. With the cloud slowly becoming the norm, the single solution of multi-solution has taken the discussions to the next level of debate, as it may be possible to integrate solutions in a hybrid cloud environment. My understanding by way of consultation with several Chief Information Officers (CIO) indicates mixed reactions; for some, multi-solution is a win-win while for some others, it has become a nightmare.
Modern business applications come with connectors for external systems to draw and put data, thereby creating permanent connectivity between two different software systems. Application Programming Interface (API) or other similar interfaces help achieve interaction between multiple systems. However, when two systems interact, there is more exposure to security risk due to users using different connectivity and what is technically known as transport security. Further, cloud hosting has created another new concept known as a hybrid cloud where you connect with multiple systems residing in various clouds, also exposing to security risks. While one can mitigate these security risks through proper security protocols, a risk exposure remains even though mitigation measures are put in by way of encrypted transport protocols.
Let me take, for a moment, example of buying a new motor vehicle. We test-drive many and finally settle for one. We may like individual features of some but may not find all those loved features in the final one we decide. However, we settle for the final one only because it has the most features that we liked, while it certainly lacked few that also we loved. Similarly, in software products, the easiest way to avoid much of security risks, cost of integration, cost of unification and cost of attaining equilibrium in version update between different software is to opt for single solution.
But the future of software is drawing us to same conclusion. When NoCode platforms mature, users can create or add features of their choice to an existing software they use. If the software is built entirely on NoCode platforms, they can add whatever they need or desire. Time is not very far off when this becomes a reality and then, I am unable to see traction for corporate CIO to opt for multi-software combinations. It will be interesting to buy the one which has most features like the example of the motor vehicle above and add the features the enterprise desire using NoCode platforms.
Seeing this future trend, which is emerging, we built 16 of our 26 module Retail Management Software, “Retail ViVA” using NoCode platform of ours, giving absolute freedom for Citizen Users to add features of their choice or re-configure it as they like. If the platform is NoCode rather than LowCode, users can customise the solution to their specific needs under common corporate standards. If a Citizen User can model her/his needs by themselves, why do they need to opt for multi-products of speciality and take the hassles of combining them to one bundle? In the NoCode environments, self-modelling does not consume much time and one can quickly model and achieve desired results. As we mature into advanced NoCode platforms, users may rethink of moving away from specialist SaaS software products to one unified ERP product of their choice and cascade it up by themselves to their most needs. I strongly feel that NoCode platforms will change the landscape of cloud software and its subscription and see some significant disruptions coming along in the medium term of two to three years. Until then, it will be life as usual with multi-software thriving and gaining market share with their excellent specialized offerings. I opine a single solution approach is safe and secure and has long term sustainability so long the solution provider is credible, stable, and resilient.