日本でも家庭用品でおなじみのP&GのCIO、Filippo Passerini氏は、ディズニー、フェデックス、ゴールドマンサックスなどの企業は、もっと有益なソフトウェアを、より短期間に開発するよう、ソフトウェアベンダーをプッシュすべきと考えているらしい。プッシュするのはいいが、その理由が重要だ。


‘Passerini describes business software development today as a “hub and spoke.” The software vendor pitches what it’s selling and what’s possible with technology, then a would-be customer tells the vendor what they really need. FedEx, Boeing, BP, Disney, Goldman Sachs, GE — they all go through the same exercise as P&G, one-on-one with the vendor.’


‘Today, companies such as P&G have a screaming need for better analytics software to help them make sense of their growing mountains of data about sales, supply chains and customers. The conventional hub-and-spoke development model is still driving software innovation, but Passerini isn’t confident it will produce the analytical software to meet future needs.’


— P&Gは、他の大手のバイヤーとソフトウェアベンダーを集めて、毎年イベントを開催しており、今年はアナリティクスがメインテーマだった。さてそこで、Passerini氏は新しいソフトウェア開発の手法についてまだ解を持っていないということだが、どのようなものがありえるのか。InformationWeek MagazineのChris Murphy氏のアイデアはこうだ。

better way


‘A collaborative customer effort to spur new software ideas will still face the same question a company faces on its own: Which vendors should we work with most closely? Would a new model involve, say, six non-competing companies picking one analytics vendor to collaborate with? Or would this group come up with a set of needs and broadly publish them, to let big and small companies go after them?’


‘One option is an open innovation platform — this small group of CIOs publicly lays out their needs for big vendors and entrepreneurs alike to tackle. InnoCentive offers a marketplace for such ideas, and P&G is among the companies that have used it. But those innovation challenges tend toward R&D efforts.’


— 一般公開すれば、誰かがそこからイノベーションを起こしてくれるかもしれないが、誰も起こしてくれないかもしれない。過程や進捗が見えないのは少々リスキーだ。


‘Industry standards groups are a dime a dozen. A number of them are competing right now to create standards for cloud computing, for example. But standards groups tend to emerge after a flurry of innovation and implementations have happened already and companies start to feel the pain of supporting heterogeneous environments. “Speed” isn’t the rallying cry of standards bodies. Getting consensus quickly on business needs and doing agile iterations along the way will be tough with any cross-company effort.’



‘A related tension point is sure to be how industry-specific or company-specific software needs are. One startup at P&G’s Goldmine event, analytics software vendor Verix, illustrates this tension. P&G is partnering with Verix to develop the Israeli company’s software. Verix’s early success is driven in part by its industry focus — bringing domain expertise in life sciences and, through close work with P&G, consumer packaged goods.’


‘So could companies in very different industries — such as consumer goods, aerospace, investment banking, media, hospitality, logistics, transportation and energy — agree on what they need in new analytics software? Passerini ultimately thinks businesses are more alike than different, so there’s room to collaborate. “It’s all business,” he said.’


— なかなか難しいとは思う。


‘Sustaining any cross-company, collaborative effort is hard, especially around technology development. Remember RFID in the supply chain? Wal-Mart in the mid-2000s tried to turbo-charge a huge, cross-industry effort to spur development and use of radio-frequency ID technology, in which tiny chips are placed on goods to make it easier to track them. That industry-wide momentum foundered, even with Wal-Mart’s enormous supply chain influence.’



‘Do other companies — both buyers and builders of software — share his sense of urgency that we need a new way to develop software? At P&G, Passerini has shaken up the IT strategy every few years for a decade — outsourcing much of the daily operations to Hewlett-Packard, then creating a service approach where business units can take or leave what IT offers, then pushing to give 60,000 employees analytical tools on their desktop.’


— 今のうちに手を打っておかないと手遅れになるという感覚があるのだろう。