Will Landmark Suffer from 2nd System Effect?
September 20, 2007
Posted by on
I recently wrote (see https://lawsonguru.wordpress.com/2007/09/26/applying-the-change-function-to-lwsn/) about Pip Coburn’s book “The Change Function: Why Some Technologies Take Off and Others Crash and Burn” (see http://www.amazon.com/Change-Function-Technologies-Others-Crash/dp/B000NA6U2O) and how it can be applied to Lawson. I want to expand a bit on how I think it applies to Landmark. Let me make myself clear. I’m not condemning Landmark as a product/technology. What I’m saying is this: Lawson will have a tough sell getting clients to “upgrade” to Landmark applications. To sum it up, consider the Machiavelli quote that Coburn uses to introduce Chapter One:“Nothing is more difficult than to introduce a new order.”
But where I really think Lawson is missing the mark with Landmark (I know, forgive the pun) is with the technology decision itself. I keep going back to my basic mantra: Lawson is an applications company, not a technology company. Lawson is not an SAP or a Microsoft or an Oracle-they just aren’t big enough to straddle that line. They shouldn’t be writing their own language and all that it entails. There’s nothing wrong with Pattern languages, but is Lawson really the right company to be doing it? Wouldn’t they do better to team up with a technology company like Intentional Software (see http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/business/yourmoney/28slip.html?ex=1327640400&en=d2d090cf2db27104&ei=5090)?
If you’ve ever read Frederick Brooks, Mythical Man Month (see http://www.amazon.com/Mythical-Man-Month-Software-Engineering-Anniversary/dp/0201835959) you know what I’m talking about. My greatest fear for Landmark is that it will suffer from second system effect, as Lawson will try to rectify every deficiency about which its clients have ever complained.