If I had more time, I would have created a simpler application


Aaron Levy, Box.net CEO, likes to speak about business apps 2.0 and criticize business apps 1.0. This time, he invented the new meme "Simple Enterprise". Here is the point. Today in the enterprise, simplicity doesn’t sell. Complexity, on the other hand, justifies costly software licenses, long implementation projects and new version development cycles. IT vendors say: the problems faced by today’s enterprises are incredibly challenging, and complex problems require equally complex solutions. Besides, companies are constantly spamming vendors with queries like "Please add this feature in the next version". Well, how to refuse a client who pays money? It would seem that this is a Win-Win situation. Both (companies and vendors) are interested in complicated systems. But in practice it turns out that complex IT systems do not make business more efficient, but weaken it. Complex IT system doesn't simplify user work, but makes user work for it. As a result, vendors and companies are both losing .

So what do you offer? To ignore customer requests? "More often YES than NO" - says Aaron Levy. "In most cases 95% of your users do not need the new feature. It will only complicate their work and make the system more expensive. Focus on these 95%. Make an ideal solution for them. And those other 5% - will find another solution. Of course, you can help them by implementing open standards, flexible (simple) customization options, API for integration. "

But you know, that CEO or CTO of a large company won't even look at your simple system, regarding it unmature? They will more likely to look towards Microsoft, SAP, IBM ... "The sales scheme for business apps is changing." - Levy sais - "Now you can sell the software not to CEO or CTO. You can sell it to departments and even to end users. Modern SaaS applications are so simple and affordable, that employees begin using them themselves even without the authorization of management and IT. And if the application really works, then the rest of the company fill follow them".

"Besides, you do not have to compete with IT giants for large enterprises. In a small business the demand for simple, effective apps is even higher. Look at Salesforce - their average customer only has an estimated 15-20 seats on the service."

"Nevertheless, to make a simple application - it's not so easy." - Warns Levy - "As one writer said: “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” The same with business apps. To develop a simple yet really useful business system - is more difficult than full-featured one. You need to think a lot and to know the business of your target customers. Perhaps even better than they know it themselves".