Daniel Lemire's blog

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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.