One Size Surely Does Not Fit All...

I'm continually reminded of the tremendous diversity of enterprise technology needs. As analysts, we tend to focus on the "latest and greatest" developments, but the reality is that many enterprises are not ready to digest the latest technology solutions. In fact, I would submit that premature attempts to implement leading edge technology can cause serious problems and should be avoided. 

How do you know if a technology update is premature?  Look to the business side of the house.  Are there major business pain points that cannot be addressed by the current technology?  If so, IT should be looking to implement new capabilities.  However, lacking new drivers from the business side, maintaining the status quo might not be that bad of a strategy. 

In the past six months I've spoken with several $1B+ enterprises (some greater than $5B) that are achieving good business results using batch-oriented technology with the most sophisticated software being ETL tools.  Hardly leading edge, but the important point is that it works. 

Think of the need for advanced technology as a continuum.  At one end you have financial institutions using logarithmic trading and high-tech manufacturers relying on real-time supply chain operations.  At the other end of the spectrum you have many retailers and others still living in a batch dominated world. In between you have players in many other sectors with highly variable needs that rely on both real-time and batch processing to meet their requirements. 

Don't expect this diversity to disappear anytime soon. 

  

Comments

How about diversity inside a business?

Ken, how very true. But let me add that a similar diversity exists within a business. It does not even have to be a large one. Most certainly on the user interface one size does not fit all users. Also process standardization may look like a cheap way to get processes up and running but in the long term it reduces the service quality delivered due to a lack of fit.

Therefore businesses need the ability to create applications and processes that can be personalized on the fly without requiring huge projects. Actually it should be the business that creates the applications and processes on top of a solid business architecture and infrastructure and adapts them over time as the world turns.

At least that is my vision and has been for the last ten years and what I try to deliver with our Papyrus Platform. Thanks for throwing a wrench into the 'standard application' gearbox.