Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Solution Isn't New Software

I see a lot of companies turn to software solutions (ERP, MRP, CIM, CRM, whatever...), in a vain attempt to resolve the day-to-day issues they face during the operations. Unfortunately, the problems they are intended to resolve often don't disappear, and in many cases, they are now accompanied by new ones.

There is a whole laundry list on why this isn't a good idea: complex systems, "buggy" software, costly hardware upgrades, on-going IT support, changes to existing work practices, extensive training requirements and more. For a small business, these issues make the decision to implement such a system questionable at best. I personally believe that the larger an organization is the greater the need for such a system, but for a small company, this strategy often is a losing bet.

Like a ruler, a hammer, a level or a saw, a computer system is just another tool; it's an aid to reaching your business objectives. We're easily sold on these systems however, because we just want our business to be "better", and what could be "better" than an all-in-one solution that comes in a box? We've never really considered the specific areas where our business could be improved, and what solutions therefore would make the most sense.

One thing is for certain - making your business more complex isn't the answer, and computers don't always make life easier.

No comments: