37 Signals talks a bit about temporary software.
I really like the idea of shaping your decisions around software based on this simple fact. I have often thought that Enterprise IT shops could learn a great deal from thinking about software as disposable. Of course it is, but I am talking about recognizing it and shaping all their practices around achieving a better approach to developing it from that perspective. Asking themselves "how do we develop better disposable software" and perhaps "how do we make our software more disposable". I know this seems a bit extreme, but I wonder how it might change things:
- what would it do to the heavy handed development process?
- how about the difficulty in sunsetting software?
- what about the complexity in current solutions?
- how about the huge cost of maintaining those solutions?
- how about the coupling of integrated software?
- the speed that solutions get deployed?
- the overall value to the company's bottom line?
- the feedback?
Of course I am not talking about giving up quality or integration, but simply asking whether those would truly be sacrificed by emphasizing the true nature of software. And also what forces would this create as compared to the current ones in place.
Of course this is absurd. No large IT shop would really change to adapt any such practices that make their software more disposable or even recognize that the company would profit from its disposal. But, what if one of these shops did? (I can almost hear Lennon's 'Imagine' playing in the background)