It seems some of my fellow enterprise software bloggers are missing the point in Robert Scoble's post. The consumerization of the enterprise is one of the bigger trends reshaping enterprise software. Ask any user of enterprise software if they love it and the answer is no. This will increasingly matter attracting and retaining employees. Especially as NetGens enter the workforce, the biggest demographic shift since the Baby Boomers, and the fact that they choice in tools to get most of their work done.
Enterprise software can do better. In fact it has to, because of broader competition. At least with basic usability. And with due bravery to buyers about the actual return with users are served. Step out of the feature matrix. Also recognize that control instincts lead to unusable crap that is a barrier to collaboration. And every enterprise software app is a collaboration app, otherwise its infrastructure.
What works against doing better is how institutional procurement will always demand direct relationship and mass customization. Whereas consumers need less customization (nare I say fads) and are served at a high volume, where intimacy is achieved through brands.
We're experimenting at the margin with new models such as SaaS and Open Source, which needs to appeal to people instead of institutional procurement. It may be the first way into an institutional sale, and it does have different demands. But the inherent lack of focus for a vendor, between consumers who happen to work in enterprises and the institutions that bind them, is great.
We're also doing a lot of experimentation around social software, which in consumer markets helps get them laid. Enterprise social software can't do that without risk of lawsuits. But it can help people get promoted.