In the emerging economy there is a new infrastructure, based on the internet, that is causing us to scrutinies most of our assumptions about the business. As a skin of networks - growing in ubiquity, robustness, bandwidth, and function - covers the skin of the planet, new models of how wealth is created are emerging.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Shift to Off-The-Shelf

Over the past few years, there has been a significant shift away from custom-designed programs crafted by in-house professional programmers. Instead, organizations are increasingly turning to off-the-shelf software packages offered by external vendors. This trend has gained momentum thanks to the emergence of affordable and user-friendly application software and multipurpose suites tailored for microcomputers.

One of the key drivers behind this shift is the evolution of software packages to incorporate web-enabled networking capabilities and collaboration features. These enhancements optimize the utility of software for end users and workgroups operating on the internet, corporate intranets, and extranets. Furthermore, the accessibility of software has been revolutionized by the ability to download, update, manage, and even rent or lease packages directly from software companies or application service providers via the internet and corporate networks.

In tandem with this shift, there has been a gradual departure from technical, machine-specific programming languages towards more user-friendly alternatives. Visual graphic interfaces for object-oriented programming and non-procedural natural languages are increasingly favored over traditional binary-based or procedural languages. This transition has been facilitated by the development of intuitive fourth-generation languages and advancements in object technology, graphics, and artificial intelligence, which are making programming tools and software packages more accessible to a wider audience.

Moreover, artificial intelligence features have become commonplace in various software packages, further streamlining user experiences. For instance, intelligent help features such as wizards are now integrated into software suites to assist users with common functions like graphing spreadsheet data or generating reports from databases. Additionally, intelligent agents are employed in certain software packages to carry out tasks based on user instructions, such as organizing and screening email messages.

These converging trends are paving the way for a new generation of software characterized by multipurpose functionality, expert assistance, and web-enabled capabilities. These fifth-generation software packages boast natural language interfaces and graphical user interfaces, supporting enhanced productivity and collaboration for both end users and information systems professionals alike. As technology continues to evolve, these trends are poised to reshape the landscape of software development and utilization in the years to come.
Shift to Off-The-Shelf

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