The IT industry may be heading toward a state in which vendors and their channel partners focus more on service than software, according to a new report by Forrester Research. The report predicts that a confluence of four factors — commoditization, miniaturization, industrialization, and globalization — will drive major vendors to refine their products in the next five years, resulting in software that’s mostly pre-configured and requires less tinkering by system integrators (SIs) and IT departments.
The effect will be most pronounced at the high-end level of enterprise software, according to Andrew Parker, a vice president and research director at Forrester who co-wrote the report. But even smaller, regional players could be affected, especially as vendors of enterprise software look downstream in an effort to sell beyond an increasingly saturated high-end.
The increased level of pre-configured software could push some SIs back towards more of a VAR operation, with more sales employees and fewer technicians, Parker said. He added, however, that it is too soon to be sure of such a shift. Other SIs could end up as software brokers — essentially mixing and matching products for their clients — or focus on a specific niche — either a vertical industry or a specific software component.