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Cloud Computing and the History of Enterprise Software

Enterprise software is a broad category of enterprise software applications targeted, for the most part, for large and medium size organizations. Initially, enterprise software applications were developed and sold as department-specific applications such as Accounting, HR and Manufacturing Resource Planning. Then, enterprise software was aligned with business processes that crossed various departments. Examples included Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relationship Management. But everyday the list of potential opportunities grow and the market responds.

Companies like Oracle created suites of enterprise software solutions and sold their software through value added resellers. In the 1980′s, enterprise software was developed, sold, and supported by large IT companies like Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, HP, and others. Demand for enterprise software accelerated as client-server and networking technologies enabled rapid and large-scale deployments.

Specialized skills were needed in the 1990′s to accommodate the growing customer demand for installation, customization, integration, and maintenance resulted in a significant market for enterprise software solution providers such as Ablebridge.

The market demanded more and companies responded by packaging and creating customizations for particular industries such as Healthcare, Manufacturing, Transportation or Telecommunications. Enterprise software applications market is in the midst of yet another major transformation due to significant changes in technology and business models.

1) Even though traditional licensed software model still exists, more and more vendors are offering their enterprise software using an On-demand or Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) model.

2) Most enterprises cannot afford to staff and sustain large IT departments to support large-scale enterprise software implementations.

3) While proprietary technologies are still prevalent, increasing number of open source enterprise software applications with similar functionality, performance, and scalability are offering much lower cost of ownership.

4) Cloud computing and virtualization technologies are enabling enterprises to eliminate significant infrastructure costs while offering various options to scale their implementations up or down – on an as-needed basis.

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