Forrester: Survey data dispels 3 myths about enterprise software

Public social networks and cloud offerings aren't invading businesses as widely claimed, nor has internal app dev lessened

You can't always believe what you read, claims a new Forrester Research survey on enterprise application usage and deployments.

Forrester's report was based on data collected in a survey of 2,444 IT decision-makers in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, and the U.K., conducted in November and December 2012.

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Here are the three biggest myths about enterprise applications that the survey debunks.

1. Public social networks have not entered the enterprise
The notion that public social networks "have entered the enterprise" is a "myth," says a new Forrester Research survey of IT organizations about their software use and priorities. "Not quite right. While employees value the open collaboration of social technology, they aren't moving collaboration to public social networks like Facebook and Twitter," wrote Forrester analyst Stefan Ried

Nearly half of the companies Forrester surveyed "are concerned about corporate collaboration issues and are keen to keep Facebook and Twitter streams clearly separated from corporate applications," while only 14 percent want to integrate them, Ried wrote.

2. Custom application development is not dead
Yet another current myth, in Forrester's view, is that custom application development is dead, having fallen out of favor and supplanted by packaged products, according to Ried's report. "Definitely wrong," he wrote. "Enterprises spend about the same on custom-developed business applications as on packaged business software." Packaged applications account for 25.8 percent of software spending while spending on custom software stands at 25.6 percent, according to the report.

The lesson for CIOs is that there's no need to purchase a major suite of package software "if you need only a small part of it," Ried wrote. "Custom development can be better as long as the business logic isn't subject to legal or tax regulations, such as financial accounting software."

3. SaaS and PaaS are not replacing on-premises software
It's also wrong to believe that SaaS (software as a service) will replace on-premises software, according to the report: "Replacements drove only the first wave of SaaS adoption; the future will be hybrid."

In a related note, the idea that hybrid clouds are "just another load of hype" is another myth, according to Ried. In fact, Forrester's survey data shows that one-third of companies now trust hybrid scenarios, he wrote.

Forrester's survey also data shows that PaaS will end up coexisting with traditional middleware and platform services, and won't replace it, according to Ried: "This is similar to the hybrid future for on-premises business applications and SaaS applications in the cloud."

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for the IDG News Service. Chris' email address is

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