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It’s the Design, Not the Features

It’s the Design, Not the Features
by Jim Ritchey and Phil Hill

The enterprise software market has gone through a significant period of consolidation, which has resulted in organizations selecting among a decreasing number of vendors for increasingly large and complex applications. Even though the market has changed, too many organizations still make enterprise software decisions based on the obsolete assumption that there are multiple vendors that are primarily differentiated by their product features. From this standpoint, the selection of enterprise software often comes down to scoring exercises based on product features, technology choices, product pricing, total cost of ownership (TCO), and implementation planning. The problem with this approach is that it focuses too narrowly on the past — what features and configuration capabilities have been developed to date? — whereas the focus should be aimed toward the future — what is the underlying system design and its implications?

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