Software monoliths are dinosaurs that will become extinct!

Software monoliths are dinosaurs!

Large software suites are multi-million dollar functionality giants. They bundle standard functionalities from one or more business process domains and, like the dinosaurs of yore, they often originated in a bygone age. Decision-makers in many companies believe that they can get almost all the functionality they need at an unbeatable price, making them permanently up-to-date. If you bring a dinosaur into your house, don’t be surprised if it needs a lot of food and is sluggish. One thing is clear, the time of software dinosaurs is coming to an end!

What made these software companies so powerful over the past 30 years?


Until 10 years ago, there were effectively no consistent ecosystems (development and operating environments) in the software industry. A consistent ecosystem was already a major advantage. The provision of basic functionalities such as versioning, monitoring, transport, multi-client capability, etc. created a local, unified world of tools and proprietary standards, which was otherwise expensive and complex.

Degree of coverage of functionalities

Consolidating functionalities of a business domain significantly reduced the need for customers to “reinvent the wheel”. In certain domains, however, you cannot generate a competitive advantage through pure functionality coverage.


Since standardization only makes sense up to a certain point, adaptations and individualization were integrated via “customizing”, thus allowing certain degrees of freedom, which made and still makes the software significantly more complex.


In the early days of the software era, systems from different manufacturers did not have the same look and feel due to a lack of widespread standards and experience. Standardization at this point reduced employee familiarization and was thus an advantage per se.


Standardization is a popular argument. And this is partly justified. After all, proprietary standardization is also successful when many people use it. Standardization of data structures is a complex topic. Software monoliths have solved this issue in “their own world” including configurable extensibility. However, this has done little for the cooperation of different solutions.

The tricks of the dinosaur sellers:

1. Everything is included with us

For a certain range of functionality, as one could say, this is the lowest common denominator, a comprehensive compromise. However, you will never become a cost or innovation leader with these functionalities. That’s for sure.

2. You always get the latest legal and regulatory adjustments

True. That actually seems to be an advantage. Apart from the fact that even software monoliths can’t keep up with their adaptations fast enough by now. So you are chaining yourself to the development speed of a dinosaur supplier. But what if the legal and regulatory part is small in a business domain?

3. You share the price with all buyers

Do you really believe that? Take a look at the boom time profits of large monolith manufacturers and you’ll know more. Besides, you always pay for the functionalities you don’t use at all. That can be a lot. You pay for the overall complexity and its constant renewal.

4. They remain fundamentally open to any required integration

As a rule, they get technology interfaces and have to worry about the technical integration themselves. That is expensive everywhere. Systems that claim to have interfaces that are open on all sides are somehow not quite tight – are they?

5. The statement: "The best use either this or that brilliant monolith."

Do you really believe that the “best companies” are so good because they use business monoliths?

Or the other way around: How would these companies look if they used and integrated functionalities in the cloud, quickly and specifically tailored to their own business model with all the advantages in terms of elasticity and pay-per-use?

6. With us you receive standardized functionality and interfaces

In reality, they almost always get proprietary “standards” from these manufacturers. The wide distribution alleviates the consequences, but cannot get to the root of the evil.

Today, true open standards created by the community of open source developers (“a crowd”) prevail. No manufacturer has as much manpower as the global community. But then these are real, multi-vendor standards that are also interoperable. These real standards are more efficient to use, usually free of charge, and offer maximum flexibility in contrast to the provider lock-in of proprietary solutions. And, since no special training is required, access to qualified resources is also greatly facilitated.

Why do CIOs & CEOs of large enterprises opt for monoliths despite these tricks?

The answers are simple and human:

  • Fear: If I trust a monolith, I can do no wrong! The risk for another decision is too big and could be dangerous for me!
  • .
  • Herd instinct: "Everyone does it that way". Monolith manufacturers have a lot of customers and they are all still in the market!
  • Belief: If a big manufacturer can't do it, who can?
  • .
  • Manipulation: Marketing has its effect!

Why doesn’t that bother anyone?

  • Contradiction is uncomfortable!
  • An alternative requires courage and determination! However, the focus is often on the problem and not the necessary motivation to find a solution.
  • Because an atmosphere of innovation must first be pronounced, so that well-trodden paths can be left!
  • Because structural changes are difficult to understand!

The future doesn't need software monoliths - it demands Cloud-Services!

The software industry has evolved greatly. The five drivers that made the monoliths great have lost importance and are disappearing into thin air.

There are currently much more powerful ecosystems with cloud environments that can be 100% automated and also offer elasticity in terms of computing or storage capacity and fail-safety. The coverage of functionalities in a suite is never as powerful as the interconnection of individual components, whose interoperability has expanded rapidly. You can choose the components you really need and deliberately do without unnecessary functions. This makes it easier and cheaper. With this way of working they already do a part of their individualization. There is no way around the rest of a specific configuration.

Market requirements and user expectations are highly volatile and constantly generate new approaches. With individual services, they can better evolve and shake off the curse of large projects. Cloud environments are increasingly providing powerful services for all tasks, including user interfaces, and their integration is becoming easier and easier. This is impressively demonstrated by complex websites and apps.

The standardization of data structures continues to be a challenging topic. Here, major initiatives are being launched to conceptually standardize entities and data. If you look at the players, it is not surprising that the software monoliths in particular see this as a last refuge for their own importance.

What remains to be evaluated is why the major manufacturers are moving into the cloud themselves with their suites? A “lift-and-shift” does nothing to change obsolete architectures. The question arises as to who will actually pay these manufacturers for a real changeover of their non-cloud-optimized software and how long this will take?

Stop buying software, make bold decisions to use services and enter a new era.

These are their choices.

Are you still dependent on a monolith today?

Are you planning to switch to it now?

When are you going to start to be flexible in your own business processes?

Focus on your competitive factors, optimize your processes and focus on flexibility and start at the customer interface.

Why are you happy about your smartphone every day and what it does for you? Surely not because a monolithic manufacturer has written a system that includes all the functionality they could possibly need. No. They decide for themselves what they want to use and the apps come from a wide variety of manufacturers and they work together better and better.

Sound good? It is! Today’s cloud services work the same way. They’re secure, ready to go, and easy to combine.

When are you in?

Contact us, we already have over 4 years of productive experience with individual cloud services. Our customers are very satisfied. And you can become one too! With our agile approach you get new functionalities faster, more customized and cheaper than your competitors.

Lassen Sie uns reden.

Ihr Kontakt bei LionGate: Frank Pensel, GrĂ¼nder und Vorstand