Some of you may or may not know that business process is probably one of my pet topics, despite my leanings to IT Infrastructure I’ve always seen IT as an enabler to effectively manage a business and allow managers a better view of what’s going on around the company. If IT can’t accomplish these goals then really, we’re no better than the people who used to provide the typewriters to typing pools to send internal memo’s.
We’re talking a lot these days about Big Data, Collaboration, and BYOD. The IT industry has created these terms simply to sell more storage, telephony systems and security infrastructure and tablets. The consumerisation of business IT, all sounds a bit far-fetched to me. A friend of mine was even posting on Linkedin this week about being at a Microsoft seminar on consumerisation v2.0. I pointed out that Bill Gates did a v2.0 of his book “The Road Ahead” after he realised he’d missed the boat on the Internet.
How does any of this nonsense make your business more efficient? Surely IT should pay for itself over its amortisation period, whether that be a software solution to a business problem or a hardware solution to similar problems. Ultimately, we moved from typewriters to wordprocessors to cut out mistakes, reduce inefficiencies and make business more effective. The move from wordprocessors to networked computers with multiple applications such as spredsheets was there to do the same thing.
I’ve worked with many software applications and hardware products as an IT manager and I’ve met few software companies who provided a solution that met its intended goals. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, I probably spend more time telling potential customers to not use their imagination of what a software solution can do – and focus on what it will do out of the box. I’m sure I talk myself out of opportunities by being a bit too honest, but that’s where experience has left me.
As an IT manager, I was never allowed to spend money without justifying that something was going to save money.
With ERP’s for example, they’re great tools but they’re also stupidly complicated beasts. Rightly so, by the way, if a piece of software can run your widget manufacturing business and the e-retail outfit down the road, it’s going to have to have some complexity and configurability to it.
Herein lies the problem! Most ERP resellers will rub their hands with delight when they here a customer liking the product but wanting to change certain things to fit. Rest assured a big bill is coming! You’ll see endless invoices coming in because they have implemented a CYA process. Cover your Ass! They will have got the customer to take on the liability of an open ended set of modifications that the customer really didn’t see coming – after all who is the ERP expert, you or them?
There’s also a significant issue with this whole process. You as a business tell the ERP reseller, this is what we do, they’re more than happy to take advantage of that and change the code of the software – even though there may be something in there that will ‘nearly’ do what you want.
Unleashed have turned everything on its head in terms of ERP. We’ll sell vanilla maybe with some chocolate sprinkles and sauce, but if you want rum and raisin, you’ll not only pay for it but we won’t do it – we ultimately don’t believe it’s necessary.
If you’d like to speak to us about a better way of doing systems such as ERP or CRM, give us a call for a chat, we’ll even pop round to yours with some biscuits if you put the kettle on!