The Challenges of Becoming a Software Company – A Guest Commentary In Sandhill.com
Since Jeff Immelt, the CEO of GE, first proclaimed that every industrial company will become a software company, a widening array of enterprises have begun to move down this path. However, becoming a software company takes a lot more work than just hiring a bunch of good software developers or hosting the software in the cloud. It requires a new way of thinking about what it takes to be a successful software company.
Major enterprises have been employing software developers to build internal custom applications for a long time. Many have been proud enough of their internal software development skills to share some of their results with the outside world. For instance, Capital One recently open sourced its internally developed Cloud Custodian AWS resource management tool.
In the old days, independent software vendors (ISVs) built their businesses during a period when the rate of change was far slower than we experience today. The advent of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) fundamentally changed this equation.
Given the new software realities, businesses seeking to recast themselves as software providers must be prepared to do more than just create an attractive environment for software developers.