Christopher Koch convinces you, as a businessman why you should worry about the other monopoly. Operating Systems are not part of the businesses, they are just tools. What is part of a business though is where you implement your business processes, like an ERP. Christopher points towards SAP as a monopoly to worry about more than Microsoft.
That’s because PCs and operating systems have nothing to do with how a company operates. SAP’s software, meanwhile, has become the basis upon which many companies go to market and compete. SAP is their business, written in software. And, as the vendor broadens its reach and captures ever more share of what is known as the enterprise applications market, SAP’s strategy has come to define its customers’ strategy. Many of these companies have literally abdicated their business strategy and handed it to their software vendor.
My first realisation about the impact a piece of software can have on businesses was through the reading of Necessary But Not Sufficient. These softwares, the enterprise softwares, provide maximum ROI and they can do this only if they get completely absorbed in the business, so much so that the business starts depending on them. As a result you start depending on the vendor for your business, which can be a career threatening move. I have always maintained that companies should adopt softwares, not adapt to them. For example, in case of business processes, they should be designed outside the softwares, purely for the business needs. Software should be a used to break constraints that the business processes face, which involves tweaking and realigning the processes. If not, I see the dependency on such softwares, and possibly the vendors, is more harmful than beneficial.