Top 10 business software stories of 2011

Businesses and software suppliers are adopting new models, strategies and technologies in an increasingly cloud-based IT world.

Business software has never before been as critical for driving business value, but in the quest for enterprise-grade software at the lowest cost, cloud-based software is a growing trend.

Here are ten articles that show how business and software suppliers are adopting new models, strategies and technologies in an increasingly cloud-based IT world.

1. SAP extends Business Suite 7 maintenance: What is the real reason?

SAP has extended maintenance for its Business Suite 7 software from 2016 to 2020, supposedly to give customers predictability and remove the burden of upgrades for several years, as part of its strategy of delivering “evolutionary innovation" every quarter without business disruption.

2. HP offers alternative to Itanium-based servers

Hewlett-Packard (HP) is offering customers an alternative to its Integrity servers based on Intel’s Itanium chips in response to Oracle’s decision to stop developing software that runs on the chipset.

3. CIOs must be in driving seat, or get bypassed, says SAP CIO

Chief information officers must be in the driving seat for implementing mobility and cloud computing in the enterprise, otherwise the business will bypass them, according to Oliver Bussmann, CIO at enterprise software maker SAP.

4. Cloud, mobile, in-memory computing: Has SAP lost the plot?

SAP is betting on an innovation agenda to sustain its seven consecutive quarters of growth, but with all the attention on cloud, mobile and in-memory computing, is the business software maker in danger of moving too far from its core ERP business?

5. War in the clouds – the big software firms fight back

After the best part of a decade in which the business applications establishment came under assault from the enfants terrible in the cloud, the big guys are hitting back. First Microsoft, then SAP, and now Oracle – the competitive landscape is rapidly changing for relative newcomers such as, SuccessFactors and NetSuite.

6. How Unilever took control of its software

Unilever has automated the processes it uses to manage its software globally through a service which has saved millions of pounds, reduced the complexity of its software portfolio and improved security. Savings from software deduplication are massive but are only the beginning, with more effective software licensing and management also providing more security and less complexity.

7. What does Oracle's release of Fusion Applications mean for its customers?

After what seemed an interminable development period, Oracle has finally released its Fusion Applications. But what does the announcement mean for customers?

8. Gmail now a viable alternative to Microsoft, says Gartner

Google's enterprise Gmail is building momentum with commercial organisations that have more than 5,000 seats, and it now presents a viable alternative to Microsoft Exchange Online and other cloud e-mail services, according to Gartner.

9. What does HP's Autonomy acquisition mean for the UK tech sector?

HP's bombshell announcement that it is to acquire Autonomy has left many questioning where this leaves the UK software industry. Computer Weekly asks the experts what the deal means for UK home-grown tech talent and what HP is likely to achieve with the latest addition to its portfolio.

10. Office 365 takes Microsoft online with Google – but is it any good for the enterprise?

Microsoft's cloud-based Office 365 is now available. While Microsoft Office 365 is aimed squarely at the small business user, does it leave the enterprise wanting?

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