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This is not to ‘share’ some ‘valuable’ (or not-so-valuable) SAP experience, but to trigger some lateral thoughts/comments.  Let us see if you agree with following observations :-  – Social computing / collaboration is taking new forms and has pervaded into professional IT development space. Earlier we had linux and a few bloggers, now we have come to professional-looking applications on sourceforge, an entire Wikipedia, and indeed professional articles and code for free on SDN. And there are endless examples of such ‘for free’ stuff being used by business consumers(including one where a county sent penalty notice for unauthorized construction based on their observations in Google earth!)  – Organizations today are considering it their business to participate, facilitate and direct such initiatives, SDN being a case in point.  – Technology is getting simpler (depending on how you see it) with ‘wizards’ and ‘code-generators’ coming as part of SDK.  – Globalization has meant organizations worldwide have similar business processes that are executed using similar technologies.  – With bread and butter taken care of,( and with no visible means of getting the millions), an average developer’s vision of ‘Nirvana’ includes the do-gooder-image-of-self, which is partially attained by making significant contributions in social/collaborative/free computing/consulting (whether by helping your colleague crack the driving license test, or, by writing extremely professional ABAP code on SDN a la Jung / Hellman / Others). We may not be able to measure it, but today, the content/happiness we get out of helping others is a big factor in our feeling ok with ourselves.   Ok, maybe some of these are related, or even same thing. Let us move to the hypothetical part-  Given that technology has become more prevalent (let us stick with SAP for the time) and more easily available, and, also that is has become easier to create applications, and,  that most organizations behave similarly (and so have same processes, similar KPIs, similar reporting, similar data warehousing req, and so on)…, it makes sense to have a IT development model different from what vendors in this space offer today. Let us say, like Google for ‘search’ services, there is a google for SAP development services. Free and one click away. It can vastly improve customer experience and drive customer IT costs down significantly, and challange the existing world order (of Wipros, IBMs, and Accentures… not that I have anything against them).  This new model can supplement the IT team inhouse or from external vendors and provide such service for free. Reveneue model similar to Google/Skype/ebay etc might evolve (where you generate value out of business intelligence, customer relationships and so forth). It might be great proposition for SAP (as customers gain significant cost reduction), and to customers not only out of cost-reduction but also because it can provide best-of-breed solutions (due to capabilities coming out of scale).  A different motive for existance for such organization (like sourceforge or wikipedia, or somewhere between these and an IBM) may satisfy the feel-good need of the contributing group, and motivate a larger community to participate and enhance it in ways not foreseen.   Too unreal! True, and so was hotmail, and Skype, and wikipedia.  Happy imagining!
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