Blogger: Lyn Robison
They want their IT methodology back.
The big thing in IT in the 90’s was to implement systems: ERP systems, CRM systems, whatever. Some of the systems we bought, some of the systems we built, but in the 90’s that is how we in IT did our job – we implemented systems. The bigger they were, the better.
Here it is 2009, and we in IT are still implementing systems. I know of one company that has 6000 employees and 8000 pieces of software. Right now, systems we got – but good data we don’t got.
Certain topics or data types span multiple systems. Customer is the canonical example. Lots of our systems contain customer data, but these systems don’t give us a consistent, accurate, enterprise-wide picture of customers. The 90’s solution to this problem was to implement yet another big system: a CRM system. But it turns out that implementing yet another big system is not a solution that works. (How many truly successful CRM systems do you know of?)
The this-century solution to the enterprise-wide data problem is to avoid implementing more systems. (Implementing a new system to solve every problem is so 90’s.) The solution that actually works is to make the data in our existing systems consistent.
Some retro-90’s IT people might scoff at this idea. “Make data in disparate systems consistent? Impossible!” (You want impossible, trying implementing a CRM system.) “Work with data to make it consistent? That’s the business’s job!” (If you want to keep your IT job, you’d better help the business a little with their data.) “Move my focus from systems and software and put it on data? I built my career on software and systems!” (That worked in the 90’s, but it ain’t gonna work today.)