Death of the software application

Carr made the headlines recently because he predicted the death of the IT department. Some time ago, I wrote:

(…) institutions are no longer required to get the system running. No vice-president, no staff. It means you can run the world from your kitchen. Or at least, get some research done.

So, what is exciting about Carr’s prediction?

I will now make a new prediction: the very concept of a software application will go away soon. Software will remain, but not as a countable quantity. What are software applications good for? When selling software, it is convenient to sell a unit of software. Software is increasingly a service, not a product. Software is fluid, fast-changing, and network-based. My prediction will become true because we will have a harder and harder time telling software applications apart. Instead of linking to applications, we will link to features or entry points.

See also taking charge of your IT where I wrote:

Computers are about giving users more control, not less. We shall delegate less to human beings in the future, not more. But we will grow more dependent on computers.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

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