Software Bloat – Top 10 symptoms of bloated enterprise software

Software Bloat – Top 10 symptoms of bloated enterprise software


Here is how Wikipedia defines Software bloat…

Software bloatSoftware bloat is a term used to describe the tendency of newer computer programs to have a larger installation footprint, or have many unnecessary features that are not used by end users, or just generally use more system resources than necessary, while offering little or no benefit to its users. Bloatware, or foistware, is also used to describe software that comes pre-installed on a computer when it’s bought, mostly consisting of time-limited trials or feature-lacking basic or “beginner” versions.”

I personally don’t consider unnecessary RAM/disk space etc. as much part of software bloat as it is just badly written software.  Bloatware, in my mind, is a badly designed product (typically because it is in its Nth iteration and a company needs to push it to continue to generate revenue).  In this new computing world, software bloat is more about creeping features and taking a simple system and over-engineering it.  Here is my simple checklist to spot software bloat in most enterprise software:

  1. Sales guy claims millions of lines of code were written
  2. New software releases are six months or more apart
  3. There are millions of settings and preferences
  4. It takes an IT administrator to install, setup and manage the software
  5. Software comes with a training manual
  6. Software comes in countless different editions
  7. Software comes with a hardware spec that rivals a  mainframe (from say 5-7 years ago)
  8. Feature list doesn’t fit on one page and contains things you don’t understand
  9. Primary difference between the old version and new version is more, hard to find, features
  10. It’s from a company that is as bloated as the guy above!

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