PHP set to be the disruptive innovation in the ERP arena

Cited from WikiPedia ;

“A disruptive technology or disruptive innovation is an innovation that improves a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically by being lower priced or designed for a different set of consumers.

Disruptive innovations can be broadly classified into low-end and new-market disruptive innovations. A new-market disruptive innovation is often aimed at non-consumption (i.e., consumers who would not have used the products already on the market), whereas a lower-end disruptive innovation is aimed at mainstream customers for whom price is more important than quality.

Disruptive technologies are particularly threatening to the leaders of an existing market, because they are competition coming from an unexpected direction. A disruptive technology can come to dominate an existing market by either filling a role in a new market that the older technology could not fill (as cheaper, lower capacity but smaller-sized flash memory is doing for personal data storage in the 2000s) or by successively moving up-market through performance improvements until finally displacing the market incumbents (as digital photography has largely replaced film photography).”

Currently when talking about large scale corporate used systems in the commercial arena, the first thing that comes to mind is either Java Enterprise Systems from Sun MicroSystems or Share Point from Microsoft Systems.

While the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySql, Php) has been the main market technology used by SMEs and web hosting server, no big firms thus far has yet been braved enough to take the next big step into to the new frontier which is often the large scale extensive use of this open source technology.

Cited from my interview session with a developer from National Computer Systems the number biggest IT company in Singapore

“Yes it is the truth, no big companies has yet attempted to launch PHP as a platform for large scale enterprise use. However as soon as one of the big boys in the market does so the rest will soon follow.”

What he says can indeed be explained via the use of institutional theory. Assume a big company after going through a normative processes decides to adopt PHP on a large scale basis and successfully does so, others companies compelled by mimetic processes will follow along too.

Also due to the fact that this company might be a dominant supplier or client of other companies, they might via coercive forces be forced to adopt the same technology.

Another company CBS an MNC advertising firm which I went for interview the yesterday does has indeed developed a large scale system based on PHP with built in extensive workflow controls.

As commented by Senior Manager e-marketing for Sanofi Aventis Mr Bernard Grellier

“We are now looking at building sites that can be rapid, easily deployable, with low investment cost and discardable. That is why PHP might be a viable solution for this arena as compared to solutions from other vendors.”

So what is it that is preventing from big companies from hoping on to the PHP bandwagon?

Accountability is Key!

Big firms have a need for stability more so than small firms. They require that a party be accountable for technical support should an adopted technology malfunction during operations.

This is not simply possible when dealing with open source technology. What revolves around PHP is a community of people and not a single firm. In the event of a malfunction problem, the adoptee has no one to turn to for the solution.

However the day might not be long before big firms has a finger to point to.

Microsoft seeing the potential of tapping on the PHP community is already in the process of adopting it as a viable technology and attempting to scale it up. The day might not be long before big firms start seeing PHP as a viable technology for their operations as well thereby displacing mainstream technologies used in large scale corporate environments.