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January 13, 2005
When will software companies grow up?
Another day, another story that a newly installed software program doesn't work. Except this time, it's not just a glitch in some company's supply chain software but a critical new program to help FBI agents share information that could prevent future terrorist attacks. It would be unfair to place sole blame on the supplier in this case, Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego, because this latest fiasco just points up a longstanding problem for the whole software industry: The reason the FBI may scrap the $170 million Virtual Case File installation because it's already out of date.
No wonder traditional software vendors aren't doing so well. And no wonder faster-moving upstarts like Salesforce.com and JBoss are stealing a march on them. The new world of software--provided as a Web service, constantly updated to accommodate changing needs of each customers--is long overdue.
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