When computers found their way into science and companies in the 1950s, they still required a lot of know-how in programming. Only with the introduction of graphical user interfaces in the 1980s, the triumph among private users started.
The Internet became one of the biggest innovations of the last century. Because of the invention and popularity of the smartphone, the use of the Internet is commonplace worldwide in the 21st century. And even more so since… well, you know what we are talking about. It is no longer possible without remote business. And there is a lot of catching up to do – from schools, universities and authorities to the Cloud for Europe.
IT Is a Matter of Teamwork
Digitisation – for a long time, this primarily meant connecting the appropriate hard- and software. Their combination determined the potential as well as the limits of a company’s digital transformation. Wishes and visions from marketing, sales and service were passed on to the IT.
They would fix it there. If the result was not consistent with the idea, the guilty ones were identified quickly: the other ones. So, depending on the department affiliation either the IT or marketing, sales and service.
Thanks to the establishment of agile, cross-functional teams where representatives of different departments work together, mutual understanding has improved. Quicker coordination processes within the team are developed while different perspectives increase the competence in finding solutions and the innovative power. This is also necessary to create a successful IT infrastructure.
In other words: IT is everybody’s business. Companies that succeed in turning this theory into successful practice thus lay the foundation for designing the best possible infrastructure for their own employees, customers and partners. And this is not an easy task, particularly not with the variety of solutions that are launched on the market non-stop. The competition is high and so are the customer demands.
IT Is Spoilt for Choice
The paradox of choice is a phenomenon of the so-called jam experiment in psychology. In a nutshell, it says: a bigger range of products of the same category – in this experiment jam – leads to less purchases.
Since 2011, the range of marketing technologies alone has risen from about 150 to more than 7,000 solutions. A growth rate of 4,600 per cent! So if you want to modernise the entire system landscape around CRM, ERP, PIM and Co., the range of solutions virtually rises immeasurably.
If you take into account the paradox of choice, it is no surprise that decisions for or against the individual technologies become increasingly difficult and that companies stick to their existing solutions in the end.
An option to meet this almost infinite variety is filtering it. Best of suite or best of breed? Standard or individual solution?
Particularly because it is about fundamental decisions, it pays off to make this strategic decision together with stakeholders of different company departments and areas of interest.
This prompts all participants to reflect on the status quo of both the business model and the existing system landscape and to develop a synchronised perspective on the future of both aspects
because the advantages and disadvantages of standard and individual solutions are obvious and can thus be classified in order to support decision-making.
IT Is an It-Piece
Standard solutions and suites are preferable if business processes are standardised, the initial planning of costs is tight and the IT team is rather small. The decision for such a software can also offer companies the opportunity to adapt existing processes to the standard instead of trying to display inefficient business practices which users have established over the course of many years.
If it comes to light during the analysis that the solution requires enormous adaptations to live up to the business model, processes and vision, the option of frameworks and flexible individual solutions as well as best of breed solution approaches should be discussed in-depth.
Investing in software architects is the prerequisite for the approach mentioned above. But no matter how capable a development team is: if it does not pursue synchronised goals and does not regularly compare them with the requirements of user groups, mayhem is inevitable. In the worst case, you have to pull the ripcord after several years and investments running into millions.
Thus, the IT-strategic decision is no end in itself. Standard or individual solution is not a sales argument in your own business. The guidelines for this choice have to be added values for different users, the technology budget as well as the realistic efficiency of one’s own IT and its partners.
Our 5 Reading Tips Of The Week
Wie Europa mit Gaia-X eine eigene Cloud schafft [Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland]
The Paradox of Choice [TED Talks]